Cities across the nation will be participating in the annual Sunshine Week, which focuses on the importance of open government, from March 16-22, 2014.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) started sunshine week in 2005 after previously holding a Freedom of Information Summit in 2003. The event is held annually mid-March to coincide with James Madison’s birthday (March 16) and promotes itself as a non-partisan, non-profit initiative.
“Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger.”
Sunshine week kicks off in Washington D.C. the Friday before; on National Freedom of Information Day, March 14. Hosted by the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, the day will feature various panel discussions and speakers. The following Monday will be the start of the actual Sunshine Week and includes a program at the U.S. Department of Justice noting the advances in FOIA Administration, as well as a panel discussion at Georgetown University.
The ASNE once again collaborates with Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to sponsor the event and together host the main website. The official website offers a number of resources and materials for participants and any person interested in open government. This year they add a “Vault” link that allows access to materials from the previous Sunshine Weeks.
“We are excited to continue our work with ASNE as co-sponsors of the Sunshine Week initiative,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce D. Brown. “Together, we can ensure that Sunshine Week brings the best materials to the widest audience and that its legacy as one of the most effective annual open-government awareness projects endures
For an entire list of events, participants, and informational material’s visit the official Sunshine Week website.