|Date||The week containing March 16|
|2014 date||March 16–22|
|2015 date||March 15–21|
|2016 date||March 13–19|
Sunshine Week is a national initiative spearheaded by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public about the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy. It was established in March 2005 with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Sunshine Week occurs each year in mid-March, coinciding with James Madison's birthday and National Freedom of Information Day on the 16th.
During Sunshine Week, hundreds of media organizations, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and other participants engage public discussion on the importance of open government through news and feature articles and opinion columns; special Web pages and blogs; infographics; editorial cartoons; public service advertising; public seminars and forums.
History of Sunshine Week
The Florida Society of Newspaper Editors’ launched Sunshine Sunday in 2002 in response to efforts by some Florida legislators to create scores of new exemptions to the state's public records law. The following year, the idea of a national Sunshine Sunday was raised at an ASNE Freedom of Information summit.
In the planning stages, it was decided that the initiative needed to be more than a single Sunday, and Sunshine Week was born.
The first nationwide Sunshine Week took place March 13–19, 2005.
The "Local Heroes" contest, which began in 2010, honors individuals and groups who fight tirelessly on behalf of open government. A panel of judges selects three winners who have played significant roles in fighting for open government.