Please note that the columns below represent the viewpoints of the authors and not necessarily Sunshine Week organizers.
“‘Here comes the sun’ moments in government” by Brian Hunhoff, contributing editor at Yankton County Observer: “George Harrison’s song of spring is a fitting start to my Sunshine Week salute to everyday heroes bringing light to local government. “Why do you want to know that?” is a question most reporters have heard when asking for public documents. It generally becomes a Freedom of Information teaching moment from the journalist to the reluctant keeper of records.” (Read more)
“Don’t forget to celebrate during Sunshine Week” by Christian Trejbal, founder of Opinion in a Pinch: “Amid all the doom and gloom about government secrecy that we hear during Sunshine Week, let’s take a moment to appreciate that Americans have unprecedented of access to their government.” (Read more)
“It’s time for government transparency laws to pass in Michigan” by Jane Briggs-Bunting: “Cautious optimism is circulating among legislators, government transparency advocates and journalists this month as the Michigan House, for the third time in the past three sessions, votes on a series of bills called the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).” (Read more)
“Secretary of State Jim Condos on Sunshine Week 2019: Public Officials Must be Transparent at all Times” by Jim Condos, Secretary of State, State of Vermont: “On Tuesday, March 5th, Vermonters elected their local government officials on Town Meeting Day. In November 2018, Vermonters chose their statewide officers and legislative representatives. In November 2016, Vermonters voted for the highest elected office in the United States.” (Read more)
“SPJ calls on Congress to pass strong Federal Shield Law that protects journalists and whistleblowers” by Danielle McLean, Freedom of Information Committee Chair, Society of Professional Journalists: “Each day, journalists throughout the country are working tirelessly to inform their readers what the government is up to. The free press is one of the most important pillars of American democracy. By reporting the truth, reporters allow the citizenry to elect leaders that represent their values and ideals and craft laws and policies that they believe in.” (Read more)