The Sunshine in Government Initiative (SGI) is a coalition of media groups committed to promoting policies that ensure the government is accessible, accountable and open.
Public oversight is the ultimate safeguard of democracy. This is not an issue just for the media. It is the inalienable right of citizens to examine and judge their government; and that right is served when news media act on behalf of the public to gain access to information.
1. An informed public is the cornerstone of our democracy. Open government instills public trust. Policies preserving access to information are essential to our national well-being.
2. Americans depend on news media to inform them about governmental activities and to exercise the right of access to appropriate government information on the public’s behalf.
3. In a democracy, government must function under a presumption of openness, balancing this as necessary with legitimate national security needs and the confidentiality concerns of individual privacy.
4. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) should be preserved and strengthened. Over-classification, unconstrained non-disclosure agreements, and indiscriminate use of “sensitive” designations to withhold information ill serve our nation’s security interests and thwart the public’s right to know.