Today is National Freedom of Information Day. Ronald Reagan created this annual observation in 1986 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act, choosing March 16 because it’s the birthday of James Madison, whose leadership in writing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights earned him the nickname “Father of the Constitution.”
One of the most important functions of a free and independent press is to observe and investigate government and share its findings with you. Reporters act as your proxies in learning what government does in our collective name.
The Independent is building its reputation on that foundation. From our very first story on a proposed charter school to today’s lead story on an Athens police officer, our work relies on access to public records, attendance at open meetings and interviews with public officials. We couldn’t do this work without that right.
Nor could we do it without you. Our mission is to empower community engagement through accessible public service journalism. Without readers, we’re nothing. And without your support — sharing our content online, telling others about us, donating to the cause — we would not exist.
So here’s to the public’s right to know. Neither of us would be here without it.
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