Newspapers all over the country celebrate Sunshine Week in March.

It’s a celebration of freedom of the press. It’s a celebration of the public’s right to know.

The American Society of News Editors created the event just 15 years ago. At the time there were concerns being heard in the news industry about a virus of secrecy that was moving through the country.

The reason Sunshine Week happens in the middle of March is because March 16 was the birthday of James Madison.

Madison, as those who study history will remember, was the prime author of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

That is the amendment that guarantees our religious freedom and our right to free speech: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

The founding fathers understood that a free press is a cornerstone of democracy.

We at the Milton Times need to take a minute to affirm our commitment to open government and democracy.

And as we commit to making local government transparent for our readers, the state just suspended the Open Meeting Law.

The mission of the Milton Times is to deliver information about the community — its government, its people, and the important events of the town.

We have been providing information about the community on the pages of the newspaper, on the website www.miltontimes.com, which we provide as a sample of our work, and on our free app, Milton Today.

We are fortunate in Milton because we have a well-educated population.

The 27,003 residents counted during the census 10 years ago deserve to know the good and not so good facts about our community.

We promise to continue working for the readers of the newspaper to uncover stories about how our local government works. We think it is important to be the local alternative to fake news.

Our staff works diligently to sift through hundreds of pages of government paperwork so that the important facts can be conveyed.

We thank our readers as well as town employees and officials who help us keep the community informed.

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