Sunshine Week Round Up: Public Records Reform in Massachusetts

Sunshine Week Round Up: Public Records Reform in Massachusetts

A media roundup and summary of the various endorsements and efforts supporting 21st century public records reform in Massachusetts during 2015 Sunshine Week, including editorials from Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Cape Cod Times, Hampshire Daily Gazette, Patriot Ledger, WickedLocal, and more.

It’s officially Sunshine Week – a national celebration established by the Associated Press to promote open government and transparency through heightened news coverage of these issues and a concentrated push for freedom of information.

We already detailed our plans for Sunshine Week in Massachusetts, including advocating for 21st century public records reform, legislative rules reform, and campaign finance disclosure. We just wanted to take this additional opportunity to share some more work that is being done and highlight the broad enthusiasm that exists for reform in the commonwealth.

In particular, we’re seeing an unprecedented outpouring of support for public records reform this year, and so we’ve put together this ongoing list of news on the movement. Keep checking back for more!

You can also check out the work of our Massachusetts Freedom of Information Alliance partners, the ACLU of Massachusetts, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, and the New England First Amendment Coalition.


Common Cause Work:

Mass. Freedom of Information Coalition Sunshine Week Press Release

Common Cause Massachusetts Statement on Withholding of Police Records

4 Times Public Records Law Failed in Massachusetts

Join hundreds of other activists, petition for 21st Century Public Records Reform!


Legislative Support

Op-ed by the Sponsors of MA Public Records Reform Bill


Newspaper Editorials

Boston Herald Editorial – Time for Sunshine

Patriot Ledger Editorial Supporting Public Records Reform

The Cape Cod Times joins other media in fight against public records law ruling

Boston Globe Editorial – With Mass Public Records Law in Tatters, It’s Time for Reform

Lowell Sun Editorial – Strengthen Mass. Public Records Law

Taunton Daily Gazette – Make All Public Criminal Records Public

Berkshire Eagle – Let Sun Shine Upon Records Laws in State

Worcester Telegram and Gazette – Public Access Imperiled

Daily Hampshire Gazette – Proposed records reform gives citizens their due

Eagle Tribune – Public records law needs improvements

Gloucester Times – Mass. must offer more practical access to public records

Wilmington Town Crier – Alliance urges passage of Mass. Public Records Modernization

There have also been editorials supporting public records reform in every GateHouse Media publication in Massachusetts, which includes the numerous WickedLocal outlets and more!


Additional Media Coverage

State Rep. Peter Kocot of Northampton files legislation to reform state’s Public Records Law

Mass. Bills Target Barriers to Public Records

Wicked Local Somerset – PoliBeat Roundup

Boston Globe Column – Bill Galvin Should Worry About Public Records, Not Primary Funding

Boston Globe – Massachusetts’ Problem with Transparency

Letter – Northeastern University Journalism Faculty Calls for Public Records Reform

Associated Press – Group Pushes to Update Massachusetts Public Records Law

Boston.Com – How Massachusetts Keeps Secrets From You

The Inquirer and Mirror – Shining the light on public-records access

Newburyport News – Strengthening our state’s weak public records law

Telegram and Gazette – Shine on? State’s public records laws among nation’s worst