Guest Editorial: Sunshine Week 2013 to launch with new website, renewed partnerships

By on March 8, 2013

by David Porter, director of Communications and Marketing, Illinois Press Association

Sunshine Week is set for March 10-16, and already there are plans across the country for events spotlighting open government, for special news reporting and for the release of freedom of information studies.

The Illinois Press Association has renewed its partnership with the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to promote awareness of open government efforts in Illinois. ASNE and the RCFP oversee the national coordination of resources and provide support for participants. Sunshine Week 2013 is made possible by a continuing endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has funded Sunshine Week since its 2005 launch, and by a 2013 donation from Bloomberg LP.

“The Reporters Committee is pleased to again be a co-sponsor of Sunshine Week. Our ongoing mission is to ensure that government at all levels remains transparent for the public and for reporters in all platforms. This is a great opportunity to engage many different partners in open government education and discussions,” said Reporters Committee Chairman Tony Mauro, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for The National Law Journal.

Since the nationwide Sunshine Week was launched by ASNE, participants have included print, broadcast and digital media outlets; government officials at all levels; schools and universities; non-profit and civic organizations; libraries and archivists; and interested individuals. Everyone is welcome to participate and may use the resources provided on the website to mark their open-government efforts that week. The Reporters Committee has been a national co-sponsor since 2012.

“Of course open government is important to journalists. But even more, open government is really at the heart of democracy by giving citizens the information we all need,” said ASNE President Susan Goldberg, executive editor of Bloomberg News in Washington. “ASNE is proud of the work our members have done in creating and launching Sunshine Week over the years. It’s among the most important work we do.”