Sunshine Week

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Sunshine Week
Rlogohc.jpg
Date The week containing March 16
2015 date March 15–21
2016 date March 13–19
2017 date March 12–18

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.[1]

Overview[edit]

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] Unfortunately, in many states legislatures exempt themselves from public-records laws, claiming "legislative immunity."[3]

History of Sunshine Week[edit]

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]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]