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Wichita State News

Fighting government secrecy is the focus of town hall show

Monday, March 07, 2011

Open government is essential to a democracy. But it’s often hard to find that vital government transparency — and to get public access to public records, even when the law is on your side.

“What is your government hiding?” is the focus of a town hall panel set from 4-5 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway, in downtown Wichita.

The event will be taped and shown on KAKE-TV and affiliated stations around the state at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 13, as part of the national celebration of Sunshine Week (March 13-19).

“The Mike and Mike Show” will headline the meeting. Media attorney Mike Merriam of Topeka will join University of Kansas law professor Mike Kautsch in an interactive presentation on media law, as well as how citizens can use the Kansas Open Records Act and the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

The show also will feature a panel on the importance of open government led by the League of Women Voters of Wichita. The audience is invited to ask questions.

Refreshments will be available at a reception afterward.

KPTS-TV, Channel 8 in Wichita, will rebroadcast the show at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 24. Those interested in being in the audience are asked to arrive in time to be seated by 3:45 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Kansas Sunshine Coalition, the League of Women Voters and the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University.

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