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Sunshine Week

NEWS

Here are 13 of the best open-records stories so far this year

Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of articles being published by Poynter to commemorate Sunshine Week. View the rest here. In honor of Sunshine Week, I asked fellow journalists on Twitter to share their favorite open government stories from around the country. Here are some of their top picks along with a few of my … Read More
NEWS

Will the First Amendment survive the information age?

Editor's note: This is the second in a series of articles being published by Poynter to commemorate Sunshine Week. View the first here. As Apple tries to fend off government demands for access to iPhone content, the company is leaning on free speech arguments as a key part of its defense in a California courtroom. On the other end … Read More
NEWS

As Sunshine Week dawns, more need than ever for transparency

Journalists and First Amendment advocates faced discouraging news last week when VICE News reporter Jason Leopold pulled back the curtain on secret attempts to hamstring open records laws in the United States. Leopold, who's been hailed by The New York Times and others for his skill at prying secrets from the government, disclosed that the Obama administration worked … Read More
NEWS

Sunshine Week in 5 cartoons

Sunshine Week kicked off Monday, and so far we've seen a lot of resources for reporters, some horror stories and pieces about why it matters. Editorial cartoonists are also showing what's at stake. Via email and phone, I asked four of them about their work and their own experiences with open records. Read More
NEWS

5 open records horror stories from The Associated Press

The Associated Press In advance of Sunshine Week, The Associated Press compiled a state-by-state open-records update that includes several transparency nightmares, including a Florida sheriff's office that wanted $399,000 to search for agency emails containing gay slurs and a state Department of Motor Vehicles that demanded $19,950 for a specialized public records search. Here are five cases … Read More
NEWS

As Sunshine Week dawns, journalists, advocates, call for transparency

Sunshine Week, an annual initiative promoting government transparency, starts Sunday. To mark the occasion, several journalists and media organizations have taken public stands in favor of better open records laws and more transparent government. Gary Pruitt, CEO of The Associated Press Pruitt released a statement Friday that condemned the government's lackadaisical responses to The AP's Freedom of … Read More
NEWS

As government tightens access, residents can't find out time for Easter egg hunt

Editor's Note: March 16 to 22 marks Sunshine Week, the annual effort by media organizations to highlight the vital importance of transparency and openness in a robust democracy. The following is an editorial from Angela Greiling Keane, 2013 National Press Club president, and David Cuillier, president of the Society of Professional Journalists. When the Valley Journals of Riverton, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, wanted to know the time of the town’s 2012 Easter egg hunt, they couldn’t find out. The city barred the parks official from speaking to reporters without permission, and nothing, not even the Second Coming, would pry that information loose. What Valley Journals Managing Editor Linda Petersen experienced is unfortunately all too common – and becoming more so – in Utah, Washington, D.C., and other government shops across the country. Read More
NEWS

How to use FOIA laws to find stories, deepen sourcing

To mark Sunshine Week, March 16-22, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press explains how journalists can use information access laws to develop stories in the public interest. This post is written by Emily Grannis, the Jack Nelson FOI Legal Fellow at the RCFP. Freedom of information laws are invaluable resources to reporters covering any beat. The … Read More
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