Sunshine Week

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.

This year, Sunshine Week 2018 will occur March 11th-17th. NFOIC and its state and regional affiliates celebrate Sunshine Week each year. We recognize the achievements and setbacks to ensuring open and accessible public institutions across the nation. Unfortunately, it is common for government agencies to defy their transparency laws and obstruct the public records process.

It is particularly important today to dedicate an event such as Sunshine Week to take stock of our constitutional freedoms and for citizens to remind their public officials they have a responsibility to conduct their affairs in an open and inclusive environment. At the same time, it has become difficult to many government and public institutions to respond the technological changes and the with the growing and difficult challenges to collect, organize, manage and report public information in today’s digital society.

Sunshine Week is an opportunity to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Major participants include journalists, news media organizations, civic groups, libraries, watchdog organizations, schools, FOI advocacy groups and others interested in the public's right to know.

One of the creators of Sunshine Week is Pete Weitzel, veteran newspaper journalist, editor and open government advocate. Pete also helped launch the NFOIC and served as its second president. NFOIC recognized Pete in 2015 for his tireless contributions to open government and FOI by naming him among the “Heroes of the Fifty States” and inducting him into the Open Government Hall of Fame.