A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Amye Bensenhaver: Legislature’s assault on open records makes is hard to celebrate Sunshine Week

How to “celebrate” Sunshine Week 2021 when all around us is darkness? This is the question the Kentucky Open Government Coalition has struggled with since February 25. On that day lawmakers launched yet another frontal assault on our open records law. This year the assault took the form of HB 312 — until February 25 “an act relating to financial institutions.” But this assault — unlike...

Commentary: It’s Sunshine Week. Support public’s right to know; government is public’s business

By Amye Besenhaver and Jennifer Brown Kentucky Open Government Coalition March 15 through 21 has been designated Sunshine Week 2020. By no coincidence, the Kentucky Open Government Coalition celebrates its one year anniversary this week. The Coalition emerged during the 2019 legislative session as a voice for citizen opposition to lawmakers’ attempts to undermine the public’s right to know. Since...

Amye Bensenhaver: Here’s the brief version of the top ten open government stories of 2019

And now, the Reader’s Digest version of the top ten open government stories of 2019: 1. The release of the 2017 actuarial analysis The biggest story in 2019 was, chronologically, the last. On December 20 Governor Andy Beshear released the actuarial analysis of the former governor’s 2017 “Keeping the Promise” pension reform plan. The analysis revealed that “the proposed 2017 reforms would...

Constance Alexander: Veteran Hopkinsville journalist says there is no substitute for shoe leather reporting

“People who leave great footprints in the community do that just by showing up.”  Leaving great footprints starts with showing up So says Jennifer P. Brown, a Hopkinsville woman who knows about getting things done. The veteran journalist illustrates her point by telling a story about an editor assigning a young reporter to the courthouse beat. When the rookie asks, “Do you want me to go online?”...

Amye Bensenhaver: How to succeed in open records by refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer

Al Cross, director of the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, has succeeded where other open records disputants often fail. He did this by simply refusing to take “no” for an answer. Cross is no stranger to the open records law, and his reputation for tenacity no doubt precedes him. On March 20, Cross submitted a request to the Kentucky Horse Racing...