Bitch all you want about the declining quality of America’s newspapers, but the fact is that when newspapers stop looking at how our governents do business, corruption grows, and civic engagement drops. That brings us to the News-Topic in Caldwell County, which fought and won a legal case to open sealed records involving a lawsuit against the Caldwell school system. (Paywall protected; here’s the front page.)
Editor and Publisher Guy Lucas writes: “The News-Topic found out in September that a civil lawsuit had been filed against the Caldwell County Board of Education and quickly settled. We wanted to tell you, the taxpayers of Caldwell County, who pay for the Caldwell County Schools, what it’s about and what the settlement was. But all sides in the lawsuit agreed to have the entire court file sealed by a judge.”
The News-Topic doesn’t have deep pockets – what paper does? – but it did what good papers do: It challenged the seal in court. And won.
Lucas again: “When someone asks why they should pay for a newspaper when there are websites that provide some of that information for free, this is yet another answer.”
Greensboro: The News & Record localizes a Charlotte Observer about doctors – 28 in N.C. — getting millions in speaking fees and other payments from drug and medical device companies from 2014 through last year. Two of the docs are from Greensboro. “For years, the relationship between doctors and drug and medical device companies has raised conflict-of-interest concerns and may make some patients nervous that those payments could influence the doctor’s treatment plan.”