Sunshine Week

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Sunshine Week
DateThe week containing March 16
2022 dateMarch 13–19
2023 dateMarch 12–18
2024 dateMarch 10–16

Sunshine Week is a national initiative spearheaded by the News Leaders Association to educate the public about the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy. It was established in March 2005 by the American Society of News Editors, now known as the News Leaders Association, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.[1]


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. The purpose of the week is to highlight the fact that "government functions best when it operates in the open."[2] In many states, however, legislatures exempt themselves from public-records laws, claiming "legislative immunity."[3]


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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sunshine Week". Sunshine Week. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Dukes, Tyler (March 13, 2016). "Sunshine Week to celebrate government transparency". WRAL. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  3. ^ Lieb, David (March 14, 2016). "Many state legislatures exempt themselves from record laws". Associated Press. Retrieved March 14, 2016.

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