Keith Taylor column 2021

We covered a City Council meeting this week. We cover Madison County Fiscal Court meetings.

Why do we make an effort to cover those meetings? It’s simple: To keep you informed on what is going on within the city and county government.

Next week, as has been observed in mid-March since 2005 is Sunshine Week, used “to educate the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy.”

It’s our job to keep our readers informed of what transpires during those meetings, especially items that are specifically tied to the agenda, whether it’s a resolution or an ordinance that was passed within the city and county. We also are required by law to publish those ordinances before they can be enforced.

Every year it seems, an elected official wants public notices to be online and managed by a local government agency or a third-party entity. Imagine the possibility of corruption that could take place if such law was passed by our state legislature.

We are fortunate to have a mayor and city council as well as county officials, judge-executive and magistrates who are transparent and willing to share what the public needs to know.

We have an open democracy and the people elect those who represent the citizens in local, state and national government. They are to be held accountable to the public because “government functions best when it operates in the open.”

In an era where news can be derived from a variety of sources, including social media, it’s important now more than ever, to consider your source when it comes to the news. Seek to find journalists who strive to present the facts without tilting the scale.

Our role is to report the news to you, the reader, and keep you updated on the latest government decisions that will affect your life in one way or another.

If not for this paper you wouldn’t know when the U.S. 25 widening project was complete and rely strictly on heresy or what someone posted on social media that may or may not be true, considering the source of the information.

There are more than 1,400 cities and towns across America that have lost a newspaper during the last 17 years, according to the Associated Press, based on analysis of data that was compiled by the University of North Carolina.

It’s sad.

Imagine a community without a newspaper, whether it be online or print.

How would you know about what happened at the last government meeting? How would you find out what’s going on this weekend to plan ahead?

That’s why it’s vital to have journalists looking after your best interests at all times.

Recommended for you