State lawmakers killed legislation that would have let Colorado counties publish fiscal information on their websites rather than in newspapers.
Legislative leaders have approved Statehouse floor credentials for The Colorado Independent based on the recommendation of the Capitol press corps. The news nonprofit was denied similar credentials in 2014 because of its past affiliation with left-leaning political advocacy groups.
For the CFOIC, revisiting 2014 reveals a somewhat troubling string of stories about issues and problems affecting government transparency in Colorado. Consider them one by one and you might not be all that concerned. But put them in a list and you could reasonably conclude that open government in the Centennial State is still a work in progress.
Plenty of evidence suggests that CSU’s student government is subject to the Sunshine Law and, therefore, a reporter for the student newspaper should not have been barred from a hearing to impeach a student senator.
Reporter Teresa Benns has endured verbal attacks and threats of physical violence while documenting and commenting on the workings and failings of government in Saguache County and the small town of Center. She perseveres because it’s her duty, she said, accepting the CFOIC’s Jean Otto Friend of Freedom Award.
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa should make a sequel to his sex-scandal apology video. I’ll be happy to write the script and direct. Let’s title it: Game of Denials.
The CFOIC presented William Dean Singleton, chairman of The Denver Post, with the Jean Otto Friend of Freedom Award for his sustained and significant record of fighting for open government in Colorado.
Fees for public records, protecting the confidential sources of journalists, the Open Meetings Law. These weren’t the topics that grabbed the biggest headlines during the during the 2014 legislative session. But that doesn’t diminish their importance.
On her lawyers’ advice, Fox News reporter Jana Winter turned down an invitation to speak in person at the Colorado Press Association’s annual Capitol Hill luncheon in Denver. But that didn’t prevent her from using technology to implore state lawmakers to reconsider now-dead legislation that would have strengthened Colorado’s journalist shield law.
For now, journalists working for The Colorado Independent still won’t be given access to the floor of the Colorado House or Senate when the General Assembly is in session. But legislative leaders encouraged the online newspaper to ask again after the credentialing criteria have been “updated.”