Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


No sunshine here;
just hollow boasts

It’s Sunshine Week, when a focus is put on the public’s right to information and once again the deluded editor of the Times Union is boasting about his paper’s untiring efforts to pry facts out of reluctant officials.

But the disturbing reality at the TU is that readily available information is routinely kept out of the paper because publishing it would cost advertising revenue.

So for more than a decade stories about lawsuits alleging preventable deaths and serious injuries in hospitals – many of which have eventually ended with a settlement – have been ignored.

Getting that information is as easy as walking into a county clerk’s office and searching a database. (In Rensselaer and Saratoga counties you can print copies right from a computer. Albany County apparently is in no rush to join the digital age; its lawsuit records are still on paper). But for a newspaper management more interested in profit than its fundamental obligation to inform, hollow boasts are all that its readers are going to get.

See what's been withheld from you: