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Northwest Now is committed to annual programs on the topic of open government. This effort includes regular discussions about Washington's public records act (PRA) and open public meetings act (OPMA) - both of which relate directly to the exercise of effective and transparent governance. While our mission certainly calls for an evenhanded approach to all issues, advocating for open government is so fundamental to Democracy and a meaningful discussion of public affairs, logic dictates that we support and regularly publicize the values enshrined in the PRA and the OPMA.

Open Government 2022

Transparency advocates fight and win.

Meet Host Tom Layson


Tom Layson is KBTC's Managing Editor and worked in Yakima, Terre Haute, Louisville, Sacramento, Columbus and New York-New Jersey. Tom anchored 13 hours of live coverage in the NY/NJ market during 9-11 - just one example of the many thousands of hours he’s been on set or in the field covering politics, natural disasters, courts and crime, economic development, personal finance and the environment. Tom won an Emmy for Northwest Now and is a graduate of PLU who currently resides in the Puyallup area.

Past Northwest Now Open Government Editions 

Open Government 2021 

Your right to know in the COVID era.

Open Government 2020

Should your date of birth be private?

Open Government 2016

Your right to government records and the roadblocks you face.

Open Government 2019

The legislature resists transparency while rural citizens act as watchdogs.

Open Government 2015

Your right to public records.

Open Government 2018

State lawmakers seek exemption from the Public Records Act.

Open Government 2014 

Is the legislature working to ensure your right to know?

Open Government 2017 - March 10

Government doesn't want you snooping around.

Open Government 2013 

Public records and your right to know.

The Washington Coalition for Open Government is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works through the courts and the Legislature to defend and strengthen Washington's open government laws. KBTC Managing Editor Tom Layson is the producer/host of Northwest Now and a proud member of the Washington Coaltion for Open Government. To learn more about WCOG, please visit

Northwest Now's annual program on government transparency typically airs just prior to the kickoff of Sunshine Week. While Sunshine Week is traditionally viewed as a newspaper-centric exercise, Northwest Now believes that the silos between media type are less meaningful in an era of multi-platform distribution, and additionally, that values matter more than fiefdoms, and that all communication is additive - contributing to a more vibrant and responsive Democracy. Sunshine Week is a program created by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Gridiron Club and Foundation. Learn more at