Transparency efforts underway for cops, teachers, other gov’t employees

For the very first time, the North Carolina General Assembly will consider giving the public meaningful access to personnel records that have long been hidden. 

Cost-saving measure could lead to less government transparency

A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly that would allow local governments to stop publishing mandated legal notices in newspapers may save cash-strapped local governments a small amount of money in advertising expenses each year, but could also lead to citizens missing out on critical information while also damaging local newsrooms. 

State report calls for greater police transparency

task force founded by Gov. Roy Cooper in the wake of violent protests after the police killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd last summer makes dozens of recommendations to strengthen and support North Carolina’s law enforcement community, including several that would lead to greater transparency by law enforcement agencies. 

Transparency concerns surround Council casino discussions

When the Cherokee Tribal Council waded through its final hours of discussion — and, ultimately, a vote — on the $280 million decision to move forward with the Indiana casino purchase, few tribal members saw them do it. 

Public records laws complicate law enforcement transparency

Despite the complexity of discussions surrounding reform and accountability in American law enforcement, it’s likely that many issues would disappear if it were possible to consistently follow two simple rules: Hire only good cops and fire all bad cops. 

N.C. 107 relocation list still includes 55 businesses

Based on information presented at a joint government meeting in Jackson County July 23, The Smoky Mountain News reported in its July 31 issue that an updated list of businesses slated for relocation as a result of the N.C. 107 project in Sylva now numbered 39, not the 55 businesses and organizations named in the preliminary plans released last year. 

Tribal transparency on shaky ground after media ban

Allegations made by a member of Cherokee Tribal Council against a Smoky Mountain News reporter have resulted in a ban on all non-Cherokee media from Tribal Council chambers. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.