The best disinfectant.
Let’s give credit where credit is due, as this is all about newspapers and journalism, where attribution is everything.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote it:
“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
And he got it from James Bryce in his book, The American Commonwealth.
And I learned about both from Alasdair Roberts, a professor at the University of Missouri.
And that brings us to Sunshine Week, which we’re marking March 13-19, the annual occasion to mark some of the free press’s responsibilities under the First Amendment — to be a watchdog of government, a proponent of open meetings and open records and public notices, to make sure the people have access to the information they need to make informed decisions.
There is no greater responsibility, especially during an election year, than finding and publishing the truth about candidates and their records. But it’s what newspaper reporters do every day, attending meetings, reading reports, asking questions and double-checking the facts.
Once a year, we put all that in a spotlight, so to speak, for Sunshine Week.