Celebrate 10 years of Sunshine Week for open government March 15-21

Press Release | February 5, 2015

The American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are pleased to announce the 10th annual Sunshine Week initiative, March 15-21. Special projects and events are already planned around the nation to mark a decade of open-government awareness.

"Social media has allowed vastly more information to be exchanged than 10 years ago, but unfortunately, much less progress has been made in government transparency," said ASNE Terrorist, Secrecy and the Media Committee Co-chairs Lucy Dalglish, Anders Gyllenhaal and Mike Oreskes. "We are thrilled by how much Sunshine Week has grown and how it has been appreciated by the public. We think this year's celebration will be better and stronger than ever."

"What makes Sunshine Week work is the across-the-board participation from news media, lawmakers at all levels of government, civic groups, nonprofits, universities, libraries and so many more," said Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce D. Brown. "This focus on how vital government transparency is to our nation has an impact that goes beyond Sunshine Week itself. The Reporters Committee is proud to work with ASNE on the national coordination."

ASNE and Reporters Committee are working with four major news organizations — The Associated Press, The McClatchy Company, USA TODAY and Gannett Co. Inc. — on a significant plan and coverage to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Sunshine Week. An unprecedented package of high-impact stories, a commentary piece, informational graphics and editorial cartoons will be available for free in early March. Content will be distributed by ASNE, AP, the Sunshine Week website and Reporters Committee.

Several open-government events are being planned before and during Sunshine Week 2015. The National FOI Day (#FOIDay15) on March 13 will include a look at 10 years of Sunshine Week and what lies ahead, as well as discussions about the importance of transparency in government and other speakers. The event will be at the Newseum and webcast live. More details will be available soon on the Sunshine Week website, sunshineweek.org.

Hosted by ASNE and Reporters Committee, sunshineweek.org provides participants with myriad resources in the Toolkit section, which showcases op-eds, editorial cartoons and Sunshine Week logos. There are also several sources for inspiration in FOI story ideas and Sunshine Week past work.

The website also provides a list of participants and a calendar of events. To have your organization or event listed, please send links and other information to sunshineweek@asne.org.

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. In 2012, ASNE partnered with Reporters Committee and has renewed the partnership to oversee the national coordination of resources and provide support for participants.

Sunshine Week 2015 is made possible by an endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and by generous donations from the Gridiron Club and Foundation.

For more information about Sunshine Week, visit sunshineweek.org. Follow Sunshine Week on Facebook and Twitter, and use the #SunshineWeek hashtag.

About the American Society of News Editors

The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism, defends and protects First Amendment rights, and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism workforce, youth journalism and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives. Learn more at asne.org.

About the Reporters Committee

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press was founded by leading journalists and media lawyers in 1970, at a time when the nation’s news media faced a wave of government subpoenas asking reporters to name confidential sources. Today it provides pro bono legal advocacy, resources, and support to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists. Funded by corporate, foundation, and individual contributions, the Reporters Committee serves the nation’s leading news organizations; thousands of reporters, editors, and media lawyers; and many more who use our online and mobile resources. For more information, go to www.rcfp.org, or follow us on Twitter @rcfp.