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Sunshine Week

Let's embrace Sunshine Week! Promote open government and advance your right to know during this enlightening week.
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When it is?
March 10
Location Icon
United States

Get ready to bring out your inner advocate for transparency, because Sunshine Week begins on March 10! This incredible week-long event originated in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE), now named the News Leaders Association. It's all in effort to celebrate and encourage the principles of open government and freedom of information. It's a fantastic opportunity to learn about your right to know and how you can play a part in fostering greater transparency in government. So, gear up and shine a light on public discourse because we're embracing this illuminating week full of potential for positive change!

History of Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week Dates

Sunshine Week Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2002</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Florida's Sunshine Sunday</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Florida Society of Newspaper Editors launches Sunshine Sunday, a precursor to Sunshine Week, promoting transparency in government.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2005</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Inception of Sunshine Week</div><div class='timeline-text'>The American Society of News Editors (ASNE) initiates the first nationwide Sunshine Week to advocate for open government.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2006</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>President's Proclamation</div><div class='timeline-text'>U.S. President George W. Bush designates the week of March 13 as Sunshine Week in support of open government.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2011</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Obama Backs Transparency</div><div class='timeline-text'>President Barack Obama commits to open government transparency measures during Sunshine Week, setting a president for future administrations.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2015</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>10th Anniversary Celebrations</div><div class='timeline-text'>Sunshine Week celebrates its 10th anniversary with nationwide special events promoting freedom of information and government transparency.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2019</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>ASNE Becomes News Leaders Association</div><div class='timeline-text'>The American Society of News Editors (ASNE) becomes the News Leaders Association, continuing its support of Sunshine Week.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Sunshine Week

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Organize a community forum</h3><p class='facts-text'>Invite local officials, journalists, and community members to a public forum discussing transparency and governmental openness. This open discussion can be a powerful way to bring awareness to freedom of information and educate attendees about how to access public records.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Attend a Sunshine Week event</h3><p class='facts-text'>Various organizations host events during Sunshine Week, both physical and virtual. Attend one of these events to support the cause and learn more about what you can do to promote transparent government practices.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Promote Sunshine Week on social media</h3><p class='facts-text'>Use your social media platforms to spread awareness about Sunshine Week. Share links to resources that explain the importance of open government and freedom of information, or share personal experiences that highlight why transparent practices are essential.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Write a letter to your local newspaper</h3><p class='facts-text'>Nearly every community has a local newspaper, and most welcome letters from their readership. Use this public platform to share your views on governmental transparency and encourage others in your community to get involved in promoting openness.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Educate yourself about your rights</h3><p class='facts-text'>Take some time during Sunshine Week to educate yourself about your right to know. Use resources provided by organizations dedicated to open government to learn about accessing public records, attending public meetings, and other elements of transparency at all levels of government.</p></div></div>

Why Sunshine Week is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Promotes Transparency and Openness</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Sunshine Week encourages the principles of an open government where everyone has the right to access public information. This mirrors democratic ideals of transparency and accountability, fostering trust in our institutions and ensuring proper checks and balances.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Education and Awareness</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>During Sunshine Week, we educate ourselves and become more aware of our rights to information. This awareness empowers us, as citizens, to engage actively with our governments, ask the right questions, and hold them accountable for their actions.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Community Involvement</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>One of the best things about Sunshine Week is the collective action it encourages. We have the opportunity to come together as a community - whether in person or virtually - promoting accountability, discussing issues that matter, and advocating for more transparent governance, leading to a stronger democracy.</p></div></div>

5 Enlightening Facts for Sunshine Week

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Sunshine Week is Celebrated Nationwide</h3><p class='facts-content'>Even though the initiative started in Florida, Sunshine Week is now observed all over the United States, making it a truly national event promoting open government and freedom of information.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>It Coincides with James Madison’s Birthday</h3><p class='facts-content'>Sunshine Week typically includes March 16, which is the birthday of James Madison — the fourth president of the U.S. and key architect of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, where he championed the importance of public access to governmental information.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Sunshine Week is Accentuated by Special Sunshine Awards</h3><p class='facts-content'>The Society of Professional Journalists annually confers the special Sunshine Awards to individuals and organizations for their notable contribution to open government during Sunshine Week.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Sunshine Week Has Its Own Icon – The Sunshine Slate</h3><p class='facts-content'>The Sunshine Slate is an emblematic icon used to symbolize the espousal of open government principles and often shared across various platforms during Sunshine Week.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>It's Not Only For Media Personnel</h3><p class='facts-content'>Besides journalists, Sunshine Week is also recognized and celebrated by libraries, civic groups, non-profit organizations, schools and universities, government officials, and individuals who believe in open government.</p></div></div>

Sunshine Week FAQs

Sunshine Week Dates







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