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Editor's Notes

From the archives 2020

A big win for combating government secrecy in Pa.

by Christopher Baxter |

Today is a big day, because the fight for government transparency and freedom of the press in Pennsylvania is about to get a big boost.

We’re excited to announce that our state has been selected by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to receive a First Amendment lawyer dedicated exclusively to helping journalists combat government secrecy.

Though often unseen, journalists here fight every day to obtain documents, data and other records in order to inform you, the public, about what the government is doing (or failing to do) and how your tax dollars are spent.

But that work is hard, expensive, and there are a lot of obstacles.

This new effort by the Reporters Committee, called the Local Legal Initiative, will add much-needed legal muscle to ensure the state government properly complies with the laws that grant access to public records and meetings.

In applying for the program, Spotlight PA — in partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and other news and legal organizations across the state — asked the Reporters Committee to consider Pennsylvania due to the formidable challenges our journalists face when trying to access public records.

Our application was chosen from more than 45 submissions to the Reporters Committee, which received funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support the program. You can join the cause, too.

If you believe in these kinds of collaborative efforts and want to see them continue, you can support our journalists here in Pennsylvania right now by making a tax-deductible contribution to Spotlight PA.

Or you can support the efforts of the Reporters Committee across the U.S.

Let’s bring more accountability and transparency to Pennsylvania this year.

Warm regards,

Christopher Baxter
Editor in Chief

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