Ohio's open records laws are traditionally more liberal than most states, but an Ohio University journalism professor says they are starting to erode away.
"It's been the legislature passing exceptions both to the Public Records Act as well as in other parts of the Revised Code that impact the Public Records Act," said Tom Hodson.
Hodson says many people see Sunshine Laws as only benefiting journalists, but he points out they actually benefit everyone.
"Nobody wants to go in from a legislative point of view and re-do the whole thing. That would be very unpopular. It's just chiseling away little bits of the Public Records Act and that should be of concern for all Ohioans," he said.
One example of that chiseling is a bill going through the Ohio Senate that would change the state's concealed carry law to shield those permits from journalists. Right now reporters can view the licenses, but cannot take notes or have any recording devices on them. The bill's author, State Sen. Joe Uecker, a Republican from Clermont County, argues that people don't need to know who has a license. Hodson disagrees.
"It's not a matter of privacy if someone has a concealed weapon permit. It's a matter of public policy that the public ought to know that that person has a concealed carry permit," he said.
He also didn't think Sen. Uecker's argument that publishing the names of license holders would send a message to possible thieves that there are weapons to be stolen inside those homes.
There has been some push-back from people about just how much other information about them is available, some of it online. It's ironic given that we post so much information about ourselves on websites like Facebook and Twitter.
"Instead of everybody being open we're trying to get back some of our privacy through legislation," said Hodson.