NFOIC and its state and regional affiliate members are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Sunshine Week 2015. Together, we have planned events and announcements to recognize this important annual event.
Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know.
Below, you’ll find news and information about and in recognition of Sunshine Week 2015, as well as what’s going on at NFOIC and its members including the events and observances that are being held in the states.
- A great way to kick off Sunshine Week is to read the op-ed “A media conspiracy that’s good for you” by Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has financially supported Sunshine Week since its inception.
- Eric mentions in his post “that too many government agencies are trying to block the public’s access to its own information by charging exorbitant fees.” Are they justified or in violation of their state and local laws? You can read about 18 state examples where this has been practiced.
- What’s going on in your state or community during Sunshine Week? Check out the list of members who contributed their plans. Or, locate and contact your state affiliate directly from our state resources page.
- Who doesn’t like cartoons? Political cartoons that is. The federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was signed by President Lyndon Johnson on July 4th, 1966. NFOIC located scores of political cartoons in a file cabinet dating from the 60s and 70s in the early days of FOIA. We’re publishing them during Sunshine Week. (BTW, if you want to see current cartoons on the subject, check out SW Cartoons 2015.)
- NFOIC is working with the creative people behind FOIA Machine, an open-source platform that empowers citizens and journalists to easily prepare, file and track multiple public records requests to various governmental and public agencies worldwide. During Sunshine Week, we’ll announce what this cooperative venture is leading up to.
- Many organizations fight daily to ensure open, transparent government on behalf of the public. While Sunshine Week was created by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE), it’s not just journalism leading the effort. Take a look at who’s participating in Sunshine Week 2015. You may be surprised.
- Contrary to claims by the president that his administration is an open administration, journalist claims the Obama Administration is one of the most closed governments they have worked with. In fact, more FOI lawsuits were brought against the federal government in fiscal year 2014 than in any year since at least 2001, according to a new analysis of court records by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Read the report and be sure to click on the interactive lawsuit app.)
- A request that’s been on the docket for 17 years?! One federal agency’s refusal to release a 30-year document because it’s still “incomplete!” A three-minute video tour of stories from FOIA archives…