This country is founded on the idea of checks and balances. However trendy it sounds, transparency is one of those checks.
When decision-making entities conduct their business within view of the public, they are forced to be accountable for their actions.
When institutions and people discuss concerns and take actions openly, it allows all people, not only journalists, to have access to information directly affecting them.
A free flow of Information is the key to invoking change.
Here's the rub: When does the average person have time to gather facts, conduct interviews with officials and gather reactions from people about changes or lack thereof?
The undebatable answer is that the average person does not have time to do those things because of work, family, friends, traffic, sleep and countless other demands of life.
If the average person dedicated the time necessary to gathering that information, it would become a full-time job.
There are people who devote that much time to the task; those people are called journalists. Their duty is to be the public's representative and report back on the doings of government, business, nonprofits, religion, industry, entertainment and sports.
Contrary to what people believe, journalists are not out to "get" anyone.
And despite the inclusion of editorials, we are not driven by the need to tell others what to think.
Journalists discover the facts, seek truth and present information from all sides.
The sole purpose is to inform.
Journalists leave the letter writing, picketing, applause and complacent shrugs to the reader; however, when there is not accessibility to information or interviews, the censored perspective remains untold.
This does not deprive journalists of the ability to write a story. Instead, it deprives the public of the ability to make well-informed choices.
When people reply with "no comment" or refuse to provide requested information, they are not holding out on a journalist, they are holding out on the public.