Wednesday is the last day to register online to attend this year’s annual Oklahoma Sunshine Conference to discuss the importance of open information.
This year’s conference is titled “Fighting for an Open Government.” The conference will take place in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The conference will feature experts from Florida and Louisiana explaining opposing models for public access to a governor’s emails and other correspondence, as well as why such access is important, according to the conference’s website.
Also, Maine’s first Public Access Ombudsman and the chairman of Iowa’s new Public Information Board will explain their roles in making government accessible to the public and attorneys for two Oklahoma newspapers will recount their successful battles for police and court records, according to the website.
Journalists will also explain how to use smartphones, portable scanners and other inexpensive technologies as well as strategies to cut the cost of records requests while making the most of documents, according to the website.
“The biggest threat to our rights is our own ignorance of those rights and we have a right if not an obligation to know what our government is doing,” said Joey Senat, an associate professor at Oklahoma State University and master of ceremonies. “Few Oklahomans know what those rights are.”
The advance registration fee is $15 for Freedom of Information Oklahoma Organization members, $10 for student members of the organization, $35 for non-members and $15 for non-member students. The fee includes a provided lunch, according to the website.
Walk-in registration is available at the door for an additional $5 and will begin at 8:30 am.