The truth, as non-journalists who have fought unsuccessfully over the years to either receive information or to watch as decisions are being made, is that these laws are there for all of the people, not just journalists.
Missouri is one of the last states to form an organization designed to promote the people's right to access to the decision-making process and to documents that arise from that process:
A new organization for people who want to promote government openness at all levels in Missouri will hold a public reception and program on Thursday, March 12, in Columbia. The event is free. The Missouri Sunshine Coalition is seeking individual and organization members from all areas of the public. It will hold a 2 p.m. reception and 3 p.m. program at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the School of Journalism at MU.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster will speak at the 3 p.m. program. Other speakers will be Charles Davis, director of the National Freedom of Information Center, which is based at the School of Journalism; and Mike Wood, director of governmental relations for the Missouri State Teachers Association.
The group's founders have met three times to elect a board of directors, to approve bylaws and a mission statement, and to plan the March 12 program. On Jan. 15 the group elected Jim Robertson, managing editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune, president.