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2022 Session - Ep.6, Who's Watching Whom

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Ideas to increase engagement in government accountability
World Bank Photo Collection
Ideas to increase engagement in government accountability

This week we felt the action at the Roundhouse pick up speed, and there were some shake-ups that threw journalists and the public off balance. So YNMG is taking the day to focus on access and transparency. Monday, was supposed to have a hearing for Senate Bill 8, the New Mexico Voting Rights Act, but that got pushed to Wednesday, then extended to Friday. There was another Senate bill aimed at making sure farmworkers would get some extra pay this year. That passed through a committee without the public getting a chance to look it over first. And, away from the legislature, the state’s Department of Health has been making changes over the last couple weeks to how it engages with journalists and the public in the weekly COVID-19 updates.

Your New Mexico Government is sponsored by the Thornburg Foundation with the goal of creating a more open government, that’s transparent and accessible to all. KUNM and New Mexico PBS are working together on this, and we feel like this is the perfect opportunity to talk about why transparency is important. Today, we’ll chat with Source New Mexico’s Editor in Chief and a friend of YNMG, Marisa Demarco, about trouble reporters have had covering the legislature this year. Marisa created YNMG with another former KUNM staffer, Khalil Ekulona, and was its executive producer from before the coronavirus pandemic until she left KUNM in July 2021.

Then, Nash Jones and Jered Ebenreck from KUNM check in on how hard it can be to get public records and access to civil servants, even in a pandemic when we all acknowledge the need for extra effort on transparency. Here’s a spoiler alert – each story gets some semblance of a happy ending.

If you’re watching legislation or something else in government that you think we should pay attention to, send us a message at ynmg@kunm.org.

This public service is part of our Your New Mexico Government project, a collaboration between KUNM radio and New Mexico PBS. Support for public media provided by the Thornburg Foundation.

Kaveh Mowahed is a reporter with KUNM who follows government, public health and housing. Send story ideas to kaveh@kunm.org.
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