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Governor to SDNA: ‘Newspapers matter’

PIERRE — Government should be as transparent as possible and there should be a presumption of openness, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Friday night at the annual convention of the South Dakota Newspaper Association.

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“I do appreciate having a free press,” he said.

Daugaard said his administration is working on having state boards and commissions improve their websites and meet in publicly accessible places where their proceedings can be digitally broadcast over the Internet.

More financial information has been placed on state government’s Internet site since he took offi ce in 2011 and a new site for rule proposals was constructed, the governor said.

“I’m sure there are more opportunities for improvement,” Daugaard said. “I want you to help me see where those opportunities are.”

Daugaard said he and his wife, Linda, still receive their weekly copy of the hometown Dell Rapids Tribune and several daily newspapers are delivered to the governor’s residence.

“They’re our family and our friends,” he said about the people reported on in the Tribune.

Daugaard said he appreciates that tough questions are asked by news people and that government needs to be kept in check.

“So thank you very much for choosing careers in journalism,” he said.

Daugaard said he is optimistic and confident that newspapers will thrive into the future amid competitive challenges from on-line sources.

“Newspapers matter,” he said.