Next week, activities will get underway across the nation commemorating Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week is a week of activities meant to support more open government, transparency and the public’s right to know. Sunshine Week is supported by the American Society of Newspaper Editors and a coalition of government transparency advocates. Activities will include several public events in Washington DC and around the country, as well as congressional hearings on transparency issues.
In addition to public events, Sunshine Week will be honoring individuals who have made strides in opening up their governments through a series of “local heroes,” awards which will be given out throughout the week. Winners will receive an expenses-paid trip in April to San Diego to be honored by the nation’s newsroom leaders at the 2011 ASNE convention. Finalists will be given cash awards for their work. Sunshine Week supporters can also play a new online game — Ray of Sunshine which allows users to test their knowledge of open government and their rights to public information.
“In a self-governing democracy like ours, it takes the commitment and passion of average citizens doing extraordinary things to make government more open and more accountable,” said Tim Franklin, co-chair of the ASNE Freedom of Information Committee.