As we announced last week, Sunshine Week 2016 will kick off March 13 and continue to shine for a week to promote the importance of open government. This year’s celebration will be just a few months before the 50th anniversary of the federal Freedom of Information Act in July.
All participants of Sunshine Week 2016 will have free access to an ambitious reporting project, put together by The Associated Press, The McClatchy Company, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Sacramento Bee, Tribune News Service and others. A package of robust enterprise stories, sidebars, an analysis piece, photos, videos and informational graphics will be available via the ASNE, Reporters Committee, AP and Sunshine Week websites.
Participants can also visit sunshineweek.org now and utilize the resources in the Toolkit section. New and special this year is the list of open-government questions that journalists can ask federal candidates as the election approaches. Op-eds, editorial cartoons and Sunshine Week logos can be found in the toolkit.
In addition, the website features FOI story ideas and Sunshine Week past work, as well as a list of participants and a calendar of events. To have your organization or event listed, please send links and other information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunshine Week events will be hosted around the country by news organizations, libraries, universities, civic groups, nonprofits and others. The 2016 national Freedom of Information Day, which will include a panel discussing the Sunshine Week reporting project, will be held March 11 at the Newseum. Other events with links for more information and registration are posted and continually updated on the Sunshine Week website.
Sunshine Week 2016 is made possible by an endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and by generous donations from Bloomberg and the Gridiron Club and Foundation.
ASNE launched Sunshine Week in 2005 as a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants have included print, broadcast and digital media outlets; government officials at all levels; schools and universities; nonprofit and civic organizations; libraries and archivists; and individuals interested in the public’s right to know. Since 2012, ASNE has partnered with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to oversee the national coordination of resources and provide support for participants.