Across the country, Sunshine Week is marked by panel discussions, workshops and other events about using and understanding the latest developments in freedom of information resources.
To have your Sunshine Week 2019 event included below, please send details and a link or email contact for more information to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to see some of what went on in 2013-18, please visit The Vault.
|Feb. 7, 2019||Federal Data Strategies
This talk, from 2:00pm-3:00pm EST, will provide insight into public domain and open data policies and how they are made. The status of open data policies in the Federal Government is changing with new laws and rulemaking. The White House sees data as Strategic Assets and is directing the Executive Branch to recommend changes that will “create a coordinated approach to Federal data use and management that serves the public.” What are these changes, and how can you affect those changes? Learn about other trends in Government data policies regarding access to statistical data and datasets. Viewers will come away with a better understanding of U.S. Federal policies and laws regarding data.
|Feb. 23, 2019||FOIA Fest
Loyola University Chicago’s Schreiber Center
16 E. Pearson St., Chicago, IL 60611
Chicago Headline Club’s annual FOIAFest, a daylong conference dedicated to the Freedom of Information Act, features panels and workshops with leading journalists, attorneys and community groups. From beginners to veterans of FOIA, we’ll help boost your skills to better understand public records and produce more impactful investigations. The conference is from 9:00am-5:00pm CST and costs $20 for Headline Club members, $30 for non-members, and $10 for students. All are welcome!
|March 7, 2019||Freedom of Information: Your Right to Know
2019 NYSCSS/NYS4A Annual Convention
Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle St, Albany, NY 12207
Our system of representative democracy requires active, informed participation by We the People, including professional journalists, in our role as government watchdogs. Our democracy is not a spectator sport. Sunshine Week (March 11-18) provides a unique opportunity to engage students in important lessons about our right to access public records and the dangers of government secrecy. This session will offer participants effective strategies to engage students in learning about NYS Freedom of Information, Open Meetings, and Personal Privacy Protection Laws which benefit all participants in our democracy, if we exercise our right to know. Free instructional resources will be shared. This presentation is scheduled for 3:30 pm. There is a convention admission fee to attend.
|March 8, 2019||National Freedom of Information Day Conference 2019
Newseum, Washington, D.C.
Join several of the nation’s leading journalism and freedom of information advocates to preview Sunshine Week 2019. Topics will include a look at transparency at the midpoint of the current Presidential term, the privatizing of government under a cloak of secrecy, and, for the first time, a look at court transparency. The event is free and open to the public but requires registration. More details regarding time and location to come soon!
|March 10, 2019|
|March 11, 2019||In-Person RTKL Training for Requesters
Office of Open Records, 333 Market St., 16th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101
From 10:00am-11:30am EDT, join the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records for this in-person training that will focus on Right-to-Know Law issues of importance to requesters. Topics to be covered include how to write a good RTKL request, accessing information in databases, significant deadlines in the RTKL, how to appeal a RTKL denial, and more.Right-to-Know Law Training for Requesters
From 2:00pm-3:30pm EDT, join the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records in this webinar that will focus on Right-to-Know Law issues of importance to requesters. Topics to be covered include how to write a good RTKL request, accessing information in databases, significant deadlines in the RTKL, how to appeal a RTKL denial, and more.
Sunshine Week 2019 at the National Archives
Sunshine Week: How to Find and Use Climate Data that Readers Can Trust
|March 12, 2019||Basics for New Agency Open Records Officers
From 10:00am-11:00am EDT, join the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records in this webinar that will give new (and relatively new) Agency Open Records Officers a strong working knowledge of the Right-to-Know Law and their duties under the law.FOIA TRAINING + Q&A
CALS Cox “Bookstore” Building 3rd floor, 120 River Market Ave., Little Rock, AR
At 10:00am, join Arkansas SPJ and the state attorney general’s office for a Freedom of Information Act training, followed by a Q&A session with local journalists. Learn how to use FOIA to access public records and how reporters use the law every day. SPACE IS LIMITED so RSVP at ArkansasSPJ@gmail.com. A $5 donation is suggested at each event to assist with printing costs of the 19th Edition of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook (set to be revised October 2019). A joint effort by the Arkansas Press Association, the Governor of Arkansas, the Attorney General of Arkansas, the Arkansas Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and other organizations, the Handbook is the state’s definitive and most up-to-date resource on the FOIA.
Sunshine Week: Optimizing Public Records Request with e-Forms – RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL 16, 2019
2019 Agency Open Records Officer Survey Results
Celebrate Sunshine Week: The First Draft with CFOIC, CSPJ, CPA and CMP
Letting the Sunshine In: A look back at the 10-year history of the Right To Know Law and a glimpse of the future. Legal and policy experts, and veteran journalists assess the issues with public records law.
Speaker: Sandra Chapman, investigative reporter, WTHR-TV, Indianapolis
Sunshine Week 2019: Science and Transparency in the Trump Era
DC Open Government Summit
|March 13, 2019||“Thank a Journalist Day” proclamation from Gov. Eric Holcomb, R-Indiana
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
“Thank a Journalist Day” will recognize the work that journalists do to empower their communities around the world. Governor Eric Holcomb (Ind.) has proclaimed March 13 as “Thank a Journalist Day.” “Thank a Journalist Day” acknowledges the important role that journalists play in keeping communities informed and safe. From stories on hometown heroes to breaking national news, without their work, there would be no news. On March 13, individuals across the globe will be asked to thank a journalist and media outlets on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag, #thankajournalist. “We have thanked firefighters, police officers and teachers who are all vital to the community,” said Michelle O’Malley, a lecturer of journalism at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. “However, we might never know about where the fire was, or who was burglarized, or won the ball game or received all A’s, if it weren’t for journalists. Journalists are an important part of every community’s fabric and today is a good day to thank them for doing this very important job.” More than 100,000 media outlets across the United States provide communities with news that supports everyday life. It’s time to thank them for providing us with the truth, and protecting free speech and democracy, O’Malley said. Students behind the project are Alissa Brewer, Michaela Dean, Claire Demirjian, Eddie Metzger, Kelli Reutman and Jillian Wilschke. They are guided by their adviser O’Malley.Sunshine Act Training
This webinar, put on by the Office of Open Records, will focus on Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act, which governs access to government agency meetings in Pennsylvania. Topics to be covered include the definitions of agency business and official action, when executive sessions may be held, recording public meetings, penalties for violating the Sunshine Act, and more. This webinar will be from 10:00am-11:00am EDT.
About Office of Open Records Mediation
EMMA: Your Electronic Window into State and Local Government Finances
|March 14, 2019||Recent Court and Office of Open Records Decisions of Note
This webinar, put on by the Office of Open Records, will highlight recent, significant court decisions and final determinations issued by the OOR. This webinar will be from 10:00am-11:00am EDT.Preparing Affidavits for Appeals
This webinar, put on by the Office of Open Records, will give Agency Open Records Officers (AOROs) and agency solicitors the information they need to prepare appropriate affidavits when a Right-to-Know Law appeal has been filed with the OOR. Typically, evidence is submitted to the OOR via affidavit, so it’s important for AOROs and solicitors to be familiar with what constitutes a good affidavit under the RTKL. This webinar will be from 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT.
POGO’s Sunshine Week Open House
|March 15, 2019||Releasing the 2018 Office of Open Records Annual Report
From 10:00am-11:00am EDT, join the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records in this webinar that will feature highlights from the 2018 OOR Annual Report, which will be released concurrent with the start of the webinar. The OOR’s Annual Report includes data about Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) appeals, examples of successful RTKL requests, and more.Noontime Update – The Sunshine Act and Open Meetings in PA
Stay up to date and prepared. Don’t miss this helpful legal training for newsrooms! The Sunshine Act might not have changed, but it’s always valuable for reporters and editors to revisit the law. This session will cover definitions, procedures, violations and remedies for violations. We’ll touch on public comment, recording, executive sessions and other issues that frequently challenge your coverage. Melissa Melewsky, PNA’s Media Law Counsel, offers invaluable information, advice and examples. Most appropriate for editorial staffs, especially newcomers and those desiring a refresher course. This one-hour webinar is scheduled to begin promptly at 12 noon. Cost is just $10 per login for PNA members; $20 for non-members. Registrants must have both a computer and phone in order to participate. Gather your newsroom together in one room and have lunch and learn! Still only $10 with no limit on the number participating. To register, email email@example.com or phone (717) 703-3012. Participation instructions will be emailed one to two days before the session.
Sunshine Week FOIA Training in Fairfax County
Office of Open Records Website Resources
|March 16, 2019||Transparency Science Fair
30 Newbury Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02116
To celebrate Sunshine Week, MuckRock is hosting their very own transparency-themed science fair on Saturday, March 16th at Oficio Back Bay! Think booths, interactive exhibits, prizes, swag and everything else science fair-y. You’ll meet local activists, researchers, journalists, and more, all from organizations fighting for transparency, public records access, and government accountability. They’ll share their work, answer your questions, and help you win prizes! Come for an afternoon of exploring the exhibits – it’s an open house from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Plus, you can stop by their two scheduled talks: a FOIA 101 Workshop and FOIA Stories with MuckRock executive editor JPat Brown. RSVP on their Eventbrite page! (Due to space restrictions, registration is required.)Police, Press and the Public
CALS Main Library – Darragh Center, 100 S. Rock St., Little Rock, AR
This panel, beginning at 2:00pm, will feature members of local police departments and professional journalists on public information, transparency, crime, community policing and how media and police work with each other. A $5 donation is suggested at each event to assist with printing costs of the 19th Edition of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook (set to be revised October 2019). A joint effort by the Arkansas Press Association, the Governor of Arkansas, the Attorney General of Arkansas, the Arkansas Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and other organizations, the Handbook is the state’s definitive and most up-to-date resource on the FOIA.
Breaking News!! Forum
|March 18, 2019||Campaign 2020: How to follow the money and report essential, untold election stories
National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Bloomberg Room, Washington, DC 20045
On Monday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to noon, the National Press Club Journalism Institute will host a workshop in the National Press Club’s Bloomberg Room on campaign finance for political reporters and other journalists who don’t usually cover finance but will be writing about it during the 2020 election. Registration required to attend. Tickets ($5 for NPC Club members and $10 for the general public) can be purchased here. This hands-on program will answer these questions: Is it illegal? How to spot problems with candidate funding, political parties and outside groups; What’s the follow-up question? How to fact-check and use campaign fundraising numbers without being used; What are voters most concerned about? How to highlight influence buying and “the company you keep”; What did we see in 2016 that should worry us in 2020? How to identify the likeliest campaign finance issues and focus on the numbers that matter. The workshop will include an interactive deep dive into OpenSecrets.org and the data sets there, as well as the FEC website and other campaign finance databases. Bring your laptop and your questions to get the most out of the workshop. Confirmed speakers include Ellen Weintraub, Chairwoman and Commissioner, Federal Election Commission; Paul S. Ryan, Vice President, Policy & Litigation, Common Cause; Anita Kumar, White House Correspondent and Associate Editor, Politico; and Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director and former Research Director, Center for Responsive Politics. Contact Julie Moos, executive director of the National Journalism Institute, with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|March 23, 2019||Demystifying Democracy: Learn from the Experts: How to use Rhode Island’s Public Records and Open Meetings Laws
Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center/RISD Museum
20 N. Main St., Providence, RI 02903
Since 2005, the American Society of News Editors has hosted Sunshine Week to highlight the importance of transparency in a free society. In 2019, our second Demystifying Democracy event will focus on the importance of open government and will be co-hosted by ACCESS/RI, RI ACLU, League of Women Voters of RI, and the New England First Amendment Coalition. Moderated by Edward Fitzpatrick, formerly of the Providence Journal the panel will include Dan McGowan of WPRI, Ethan Shorey of The Valley Breeze and Amanda Milkovits of the Providene Journal. It will be an in-depth discussion of how Rhode Island’s public records and open meetings laws can be used to hold government accountable. This event is 10:30am-12:00pm EST.