Seek Public Documents Under Ohio Revised Code
National publications like the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have recently considered news of The Vindicator’s closing, and suggest generally that local democracies will go only as far as their local papers will carry them. These articles assume that if the local news dies, so does an informed citizenry.
Local news organizations unearth and disseminate truths that unorganized groups simply cannot. Having bright, articulate, experienced and credentialed journalists on staff give them a natural advantage; they know where to look.
However, there’s something to be said for a curious citizen with a smartphone, a pen, a pad of paper, and a Twitter account. By leveraging the provisions of Ohio’s public records laws with the wealth of public information already available on the internet, democracy just might have a chance.
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