Our Views: New project aids openness

We’re pleased that LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication has created the Press, Law and Democracy Project to promote, protect and study First Amendment issues and government transparency.

In announcing the creation of the center during a recent ceremony at the Manship School, the school’s dean, Jerry Ceppos, said he hopes the project will become a clearinghouse for issues related to open government in Louisiana. Ceppos said he envisions the project, which will have a website, as a place where residents confronting issues dealing with free expression and government transparency can get help.

Amy Reynolds, the Manship School’s associate dean of graduate studies, is heading the project. She can be reached at areynolds@lsu.edu or (225) 578-3488.

Challenges with government transparency exist throughout the country, but they are of special concern to us here in Louisiana, where public bodies and government agencies are often resistant to conducting business in a way that allows easy public oversight.

At this point, the Press, Law and Democracy Project is just getting started, but we hope it joins other good government institutions, such as the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, in advancing government accountability in Louisiana.

That mission needs as much help as it can get.