Sunshine Week Logo

2024 Showcase


Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: We FOIA’d every federal agency for their ‘Glomar’ responses. Here’s what we learned, March 15, 2024
Although originally used in the context of a classified Cold War operation that became known as the “Glomar” doctrine, today agencies refuse to “confirm or deny” the existence of records in a wide array of instances. Little is known, however, about its prevalence in the FOIA ecosystem, including how many Glomar responses are issued each year, which agencies use Glomar, what exemptions they tie the responses to, and how Glomar responses have changed (or not) over time. The Reporters Committee has released a snapshot of the results of those requests, an unprecedented look at how federal government agencies invoke the Glomar doctrine to deny FOIA requests. This analysis represents, to our knowledge, the first systematic review of Glomar responses in contemporary FOIA practice.

Fix The Court: Sorry State of Disclosure, March 14, 2024
Most states are shielding critical information about their supreme court justices from the public, either by making their annual financial disclosure reports hard to obtain or by requiring scant information to be disclosed. State supreme court justices have the power to impact federal elections, redistricting, immigration, reproductive rights, gun rights and more, and yet most states are suppressing information about their top judges — either by making it difficult to obtain financial disclosure reports or requiring little to no information to be disclosed — in a way that shields them from accountability. In short, 24 of the 48 states that require annual judicial disclosures don’t post their justices’ reports online, and 28 of 48 require less information to be disclosed than what the federal judiciary requires. (Idaho and Utah don’t require judicial disclosures.)

Electronic Privacy Information Center: Here Comes the Sun(shine Week): Celebrating Some EPIC Open Government Wins, March 14, 2024
Through FOIA requests, reports, and public comments, EPIC has been shaping public policy that enables greater transparency and government oversight. Our open government work over the past year has resulted in disclosure of critical information about the activities of state and federal agencies. But our open government work was not without bumps in the road such as issues surrounding access to key information and the timeliness of government responses. 

FOIA Backlogs Hinder Government Transparency and Accountability,
U.S. Government Accountability Office, March 14, 2024
The Department of Justice oversees compliance with FOIA. Its Office of Information Policy helps agencies administer FOIA by providing guidance, training, and other resources. DOJ also oversees agencies’ annual FOIA reporting requirements. The Office of Information Policy directs agencies with over 1,000 backlogged requests to develop plans for reducing their backlogs. But the Office does not specify what these plans should include. As a result, we found that agencies’ plans often lacked key elements of an effective plan, such as goals and milestones for tracking progress. In our new report, we recommended the Office of Information Policy help agencies improve the usefulness of their plans by providing additional guidance on the specific elements agencies should include. Agencies are also required to report on average processing times to DOJ. But we found that many agencies have reported inaccurate times. We recommended the Office of Information Policy improve its data checks and training materials to help agencies improve the reliability of data on processing times.

Freedom of the Press Foundation and U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: The public is paying the price for local government secrecy, March 11, 2024
When officials wrongly keep constituents in the dark and journalists fight for transparency, taxpayers are left with the bill. When journalists must sue for access to public records after they’re wrongfully withheld by state and local officials, it’s a raw deal for taxpayers. Not only are they denied information that is public under state law, but their tax money foots the legal bills. In the past 12 months alone, more than $1.6 million in attorneys fees — from coffers filled by taxpayers — was awarded to journalists and news outlets suing state and local officials for public records access, according to our review of these lawsuits.

Unprecedented surge in ‘dark money’ floods 2024 elections
Open Secrets, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2024
Dark money” groups and shell companies are on track to steer more money from undisclosed sources to the 2023-2024 election than any prior cycle In 2023 alone, shell companies and dark money groups injected over $162 million into political groups such as super PACs, surpassing the level of dark contributions seen at the same point in any prior election cycle, a new OpenSecrets analysis of Federal Election Commission data found.

News Media Alliance: The State of FOIA 2024, March 11, 2024
As much as FOIA and the local FOIL statutes have helped us all, there is still so much work to be done. While most FOIA requests do get a response, on the federal level, the allowed response window is 20 days, while it typically takes 278 days for requesters to get a response. And that response isn’t always records. Then there are the requests that get rejected — more than 10 percent of all requests. Or the fees

Project on Government Oversight: The Death in Custody Reporting Act in two parts, March 7, 2024
POGO is honoring Sunshine Week by shedding light on one of the most shameful and shadowed failures of our federal government: its inability to protect the safety and well-being of the people in its custody. No one should die in government custody, period. But people are dying in law enforcement custody every day, and in staggering numbers annually. The government is not taking the necessary steps to work toward preventing those deaths — not even by making sure they accurately document and track the lives lost in their custody.


Four Bills Would Drastically Improve NY’s Freedom of Information Laws
The Legislative Gazette, Albany, New York, April 18, 2024

New England First Amendment Coalition
Newsletter highlights, April 2, 2024

San Diego’s Open Records System Is Failing
Ocean Beach Rag, San Diego, March 26, 2024

Sunshine Week: The complicated process of domestic violence protection orders
WECT6 news, Wilmington, North Carolina. March 20, 2024

Public’s Right To Know Losing Ground – More Focus On Government Transparency Needed
The Pioneer Review, Philip, South Dakota, March 20, 2024

Sunshine Week: A closer look at arrest warrants in a 5-county region
Port City Daily, Wilmington, North Carolina, March 19, 2024

Sunshine Week has ended but our work never does
The Dominion Post, Morgantown, West Virginia, March 19, 2024

Sunshine Week Illuminates Freedom Of Information
Daily News-Record, Harrisonburg, Virginia, March 19, 2024

Commentary by Blair Horner: Letting the sun shine at the Capitol
WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Albany, New York, March 18, 2024

Sunshine Week speaker reveals ‘steady decline in transparency’
South Dakota Searchlight, Rapid City, March 18, 2024

Vince Bzdek: During Sunshine Week, Democrats pass the Colorado Darkness Law
The Gazette, Colorado Springs, March 17, 2024

Let the sunshine in: What to know about your right to public information in 4 Midwest states
KBIA, Columbia, Missouri, March 17, 2024

Want to see Detroit ethics disclosures? We got them — it wasn’t easy
Detroit (Michigan) Free Press, March 17, 2024

South Dakota lags in public-records transparency laws, expert says , KCAU-TV, Sioux City, Iowa, March 2024

Sunshine Week wraps up. Here’s what happened
Killeen (Texas) Daily Herald, March 17, 2024

Sunshine Week: Taking a stand against public information blackout
The Taylor (Texas) Press, March 17, 2024

On Sunshine Week, San Diego’s Open Records System Is Failing
Times of San Diego, March 16, 2024

How many Cayuga County post agendas, minutes?
The Auburn (New York) Citizen, March 16, 2024

Sunshine Week: Warner financial audit attracts attention
Concord (New Hampshire) Monitor, March 16, 2024

“Sunshine Week” is when the nation highlights the importance of transparency in government and public local agencies
Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News, March 16, 2024

West Virginia Supreme Court ruling delivers open government victory during Sunshine Week
WV News, Clarksburg, March 16, 2024

Editorial: Don’t be afraid of the dark. ‘Sunshine Week’ a reminder of your right to know
The Daily News, Batavia, New York, March 16, 2024

Opinion: Sunshine Week: Taking a stand against public information blackouts
Waxahachie (Texas) Daily Light, March 16, 2024

NJ open records law could be gutted. Here’s what has unearthed using OPRA, Woodland Hills, New Jersey, March 16, 2024

Korrie Wenzel: Yes, there is some texting going on, and yes, we are able to see what’s being said
Grand Forks (North Dakota) Herald, March 16, 2024

Behind The Lens “Sunshine Week” podcast episode 232: ‘It’s so powerful to see’
The Lens, New Orleans, March 15, 2024

Sunshine Week brings attention to state efforts to overhaul open records laws
Route 50: Connecting state and local government leaders, Washington, D.C., March 15, 2024

Sunshine week meets shade on Beacon Hill
22News/WWLP, Springfield, Massachusetts, March 15, 2024

It’s Sunshine Week and we have much to celebrate
CalMatters, Sacramento, California, March 15, 2024

Newsletter: Happy Sunshine Week
American Oversight, Washington, D.C.  March 15, 2024

Sunshine Week highlights access to public records
Sedona Red Rock (California) News, March 15, 2024

Editorial: Sunshine is a birthright Floridians should fight for
The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, March 15, 2024

Sunshine Week: ‘Shining the light’ on texts sent during public meetings
Grand Forks (North Dakota) Herald, March 15, 2024

Sunshine Week: Our Commitment to Help Keep Democracy Alive
The Bedford (Massachusetts) Citizen, March 15, 2024

The O’Colly’s ongoing fight for freedom of information
The O’Colly, Stillwater, Oklahoma, March 15, 2024

A sad day for Nebraskan’s right to know
Flatwater Free Press, Omaha, Nebraska, March 15, 2024

Sunshine Week Panel Addresses Impact of AI on Open Government
National Archives News, Washington, D.C., March 15, 2024

The importance of public record, Sunshine Week
WKSO ABC7, Lawton, Oklahoma, March 15, 2024

Editorial: Florida is famous for open government. Why’s DeSantis fighting to keep records secret? 
The Miami Herald, March 14, 2024

Editorial: In Sunshine Week, taking stock of shade and secrecy
South Florida Sun Sentinel, Deerfield Beach, March 14, 2024

Securing public records in Florida can take cash, patience and lawyers
The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, March 14, 2024

EDITORIAL: Forced to hire a lawyer to make democracy work
The Review-Journal, Las Vegas, March 14, 2024

Guest Opinion: Lawmakers pulled the shades on Colorado open meetings law. During Sunshine Week
The Colorado Sun, Denver, March 14, 2024

Sunshine Week: City’s highest earners in 2023 included more police, fewer women
Concord (New Hampshire) Monitor, March 14, 2024

Sunshine Week shines spotlight on democracy and transparency
The Standard-Journal, Milton, Pennsylvania, March 14, 2024

During Sunshine Week, GAO finds agencies need better plans to address surging FOIA backlogs
Federal News Network, Washington, D.C., March 14, 2024

Lawmakers are trying to make Jersey government even less transparent
advocates say (four Advance publications in New Jersey): The Star-Ledger, Newark, The Times of Trenton, South Jersey Times,The Jersey Journal, March 14, 2024

Herald and News celebrates Sunshine Week with information on the First Amendment rights of our readers
Herald and News, Klamath Falls, Oregon, March 14, 2024

Sunshine Week: Local court records are easier to find than you might think
Kileen (Texas) Daily Herald, March 14, 2024

FOIA Backlogs Hinder Government Transparency and Accountability
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Here Comes the Sun(shine Week): Celebrating Some EPIC Open Government Wins
Electronic Privacy Information Center, Washington, D.C.,  March 14, 2024

Fixing the Death in Custody Reporting Act
Project on Government Oversight, Washington, D.C., March 24, 2024

D’Anna: It’s Sunshine Week, so why do some government officials want to keep you in the dark?
The Press-Democrat, Santa Rosa, California, March 14, 2024

Commentary: For National Sunshine Week, states like Idaho should consider creating an open government ombudsman
Idaho Capital Sun, Boise, March 14, 2024

Michigan remains cloudy during Sunshine Week
Macomb Daily, Sterling Heights, Michigan, March 14, 2024

Michigan lawmakers introduce BRITE Act during Sunshine Week for government transparency
WWMT, CBS News Channel 3, Kalamazoo, Michigan, March 14, 2024

Sunshine Week keeps a proper focus on government openness
The Frederick (Maryland) News-Post, March 14, 2024

The Department of Justice Celebrates Sunshine Week
Washington, D.C. March 14, 2024

Celebrate Sunshine Week and demand full transparency
Tribune Chronicle, Warren, Ohio, March 14, 2024

The power of public knowledge: Why sunshine and transparency in Ohio government are critical
Ohio Capital Journal, Columbus, March 13, 2024

‘Seek the truth and report it’ Why Miami County’s last newspaper is more important than ever
The Peru (Indiana) Tribune, March 13, 2024

Editorial: Pressing for transparency in government this Sunshine Week — and every week 
LNP Media Group, Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Online, March 13, 2024

Florida’s Clerks Celebrate Sunshine Week
The Florida Bar, Tallahassee, March 13, 2024

Maryland’s best and worst agencies for open records and government

The Baltimore Banner, March 12, 2024

Commentary: Sunshine Week illuminates our freedom of information
Virginia Mercury, Richmond, March 12, 2024

Without More Accountability, Sunshine Laws Are Toothless
Reason magazine, Match 12, 2024

How to request public records in Florida
Axios, Tampa Bay, Florida

Tips for using public records in your election 2024 coverage
Journalism Institute at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C., March 12, 2024

Sunshine Week 2024: Protecting your right to know
The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y. March 12, 2024

Guest column: Community newspapers share aversion to darkness
South Carolina news outlets: The Aiken Standard, Georgetown Times, The Berkeley Independent of Moncks Corner, Journal Scene of Summerville, Moultrie News, Mount Pleasant, The Gazette of Goose Creek, The Star of North Augusta, Free Times of Columbia, Evening Post Books of Charleston and Kingstree News 

Sunshine Week Highlights FOIA Access
FED Manager, Alexandria, Virginia, March 12, 2024

Sunshine Week: How to make a Freedom of Information Act request
The Daily Review, Towanda, Pennsylvania, March 12, 2024

The political right in NC is promoting both conspiracy theories and secrecy. And why Sunshine Week 2024 is a good time to start pushing back
NC Newsline, Raleigh, March 12, 2024

Hiding behind fees isn’t what FOIA is for
The Daily News, Iron Mountain, Michigan, March 12, 2024

How to request public records in Florida
Axois Tampa Bay, March 12, 2024

Kicking off Sunshine Week, Seneca, N.C., March 12, 2024 

Sunshine Week shines spotlight on democracy, transparency
The Daily News and Sample News Group, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, 2024

Sunshine Week 2024: PIAA court ruling a victory for public access (opinion)
One United Lancaster (Pennsylvania), March 11, 2024

Sunshine Week 2024 and Government Transparency
Texas Public Policy Foundation, Austin, March 11, 2024

Happy National Sunshine Week, everybody; Next with Kyle Clark
KUSA 9News, Denver, March 11, 2024

Attorney General Raoul Issues 2023 Public Access Report During Sunshine Week, Alton, Illinois, March 11, 2024

During ‘Sunshine Week’, good government groups urge reform of New York’s public records law
The Buffalo (New York) News, March 11, 2024

Director of Freedom of Information Coalition talks Sunshine Week
KGNU radio, Boulder, Colorado, March 11, 2024

Why AG Drummond and schools Supt. Walters received opposite awards for open public records
The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, March 11, 2024

Department of Justice Celebrates Sunshine Week 2024
Video link
Washington, D.C., March 11, 2024

Beware the twists of ‘transparency’ during Sunshine Week
Louisiana Illuminator, Baton Rouge, March 11, 2024

SUNSHINE WEEK 2024: Meeting materials offer few facts and little time for review
The Alpena (Michigan) News, March 11, 2024

Max Kautsch column: This Sunshine Week, Kansas officials should finally clear the Marion County Record’s journalists
The Lawrence (Kansas) Times, March 11, 2024

Sunshine Week – It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Municipal Research and Services Center, Tacoma, Washington, March 11, 2024

Happy National Sunshine Week. We can all call for more transparency in government
Idaho Capital Sun, Boise, March 11, 2024

The State of FOIA 2024
NewsMedia Alliance, Arlington, Va., March 11, 2024

Janelle Stecklein: I thought Oklahoma’s Open Records Act was weak. Then lawmakers made it worse.
The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, March 11, 2024

Oklahoma Joe: Let the sun shine in
The Journal Record, Oklahoma City, March 11, 2024

Sunshine Week begins as FOI Oklahoma announces 2023-24 award winners
Oklahoma City Free Press, March 11, 2024

Opinion – Amye Bensenhaver: As we celebrate Sunshine week 2024, all is not bright in Kentucky
Northern Kentucky Tribune, Edgewood, March 11, 2024

Secrecy still pervades Pennsylvania state government, but Spotlight PA is fighting back
Spotlight PA, March 11, 2014

The public is paying the price for local government secrecy
U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, March 11, 2024

Commentary: After sunny start, Noem turns mostly cloudy on open government
South Dakota Searchlight, Rapid City, S.D., March 11, 2024

Bringing Transparency to the Forefront: Why Sunshine Week Matters Now More Than Ever
Open Secrets, March 11, 2024

The people have the right to know. We have the right — and the duty — to inform them.
Riverhead (N.Y.) Local

13 Investigates how open records law helps shine a light on government
KTRK ABC13 Houston, March 11, 2024

Don’t Think Open Government Matters to You? This Sunshine Week, Think Again
New England First Amendment Coalition, March 11, 2024

Editorial: Hiding behind fees isn’t what FOIA is for
Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle, March 11, 2024

Sunshine Week: Complicated system of holding government accountable
KOAM News Now, Pittsburg, Kansas, March 11, 2024

Hall: Pass FOIA reform during Sunshine Week
The Center Square, Chicago,  March 11, 2024

Journalists’ Rights Still Hang in the Balance as We Observe Another Sunshine in Government Week
NewsMedia Alliance, Arlington, Va., March 11, 2024

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Kicks Off Sunshine Week (video)

Sunshine Week 2024 Forecast: Heavily redacted with political surveillance expected
Los Angeles Daily News, March 10, 2024

Editorial: Hybrid public meetings are a pandemic innovation worth keeping
The Boston Globe, March 10, 2024

Niehoff: Michigan must keep its Freedom of Information promise
The Detroit News, March 10, 2024

Sunshine Week: A Healthy Democracy Requires Your Support of Local Journalism
GV Wire, Fresno, Calif., March 10

EDITORIAL: FOIA vital tool for public access to government
The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, S.C., March 10, 2024

Editorial: Sunshine Week matters now more than ever
MediaNews Group: Includes The Mercury, Daily Local News, The Times Herald, The Reporter, The Trentonian, Reading (Pennsylvania) Eagle, Delaware Co. Daily Times, March 10, 2024

PD Editorial: Government secrecy erodes public trust
The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif., March 10, 2024

Celebrate Sunshine Week with NowKalamazoo
NowKalamazoo (Mich.), March 10, 2024

It’s your right to know
Daily Inter Lake, Kalispell, Mont., March 10, 2024

OPINION: Even reporters are still being denied access to government proceedings
Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal, March 10, 2024

EDITORIAL: Sunshine Week shines light on local government
The Item, Huntsville, Texas, March 10, 2024

Sunshine Week matters now more than ever
York (Pa.) Dispatch, March 10, 2024

Sunshine Week 2024: You have the right to know what your local government is doing
Las Cruces (N.M.) Sun News, March 10, 2024

Viewpoint: Michigan ranks poorly on transparency in government. That hurts us all
Lansing (Mich.) State Journal, March 10, 2024

States have hodgepodge of cumbersome rules for enforcing sunshine laws
The Associated Press and CNHI News, March 10, 2024

Sunshine Week 2024 Forecast: Heavily redacted with political surveillance expected
The Orange County Register, Anaheim, Calif., March 10, 2024

Sunshine Week celebrates behind-the-scenes work of investigative journalism
The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C., March 10, 2024

Clerk of Courts reminds public of their right to know during Sunshine

The Apopka Voice, Orlando, Florida, March 10, 2024

Tribune Editorial: Sunshine Week faces growing list of threats
The Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune, March 9, 2024

Guest Commentary: Happy National Sunshine Week, everyone
Yakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic, March 9, 2024
The County Press, Lapeer, Mich., March 9, 2024
Texarkana Gazette, March 9, 2024
Aiken (S.C.) Standard, March 9, 2024
Celebrating National Sunshine Week
Palestine (Texas) Herald-Press, March 9, 2024
Bedford (Pa.) Gazette. March 9, 2023

WPRO news radio Sunshine Week interview with John Marin of Common Cause of Rhode Island and ACCESS/RI
WPRO News News Radio, Providence, Rhode Island, March 8, 2024

Sunshine Week 2024: FOIA Tricks, Resources and Webinars for Journalists
National Press Foundation, Washington, D.C., March 8, 2024

Northwest Now with host Tom Layson
KBTC-TV, Tacoma, Washington, March 8, 2024

Tampa fire chief ordered police called on a local journalist asking for records
Tampa (Florida) Bay Times, March 7, 2024

SUNSHINE WEEK: States have patchwork, ‘broken’ systems for resolving open records disputes. A 50-state review finds most Americans who are denied access to public information have just one real option for obtaining it: File a costly lawsuit.
The Associated Press and CNHI, March 7, 2024

League of Women Voters visit Stillwater City Council, announces Sunshine Week
Stillwater (Okla.) News Press, March 7, 2024

EDITORIAL: Sunshine week: Your right to know
Lynden (Wash.) Tribune, March 7, 2024

N.J. Senate to kick off National Sunshine Week with bill that guts Open Public Records Act, ‘brings darkness’ instead
The Jersey Vindicator, Princeton, March 5, 2024

Sunshine Week casts light on Beacon Hill’s democratic decline
Commonwealth Beacon, Boston, March 5, 2024

Sunshine Week in the Sunshine State: Officials remind public of their ‘Right to Know’
WFTV9, Orlando (Fla.), March 2, 2024

Keep government transparent and accessible, and hold public officials accountable
The Tennessean, March 6, 2024

How we can halt the erosion of government transparency
The Seattle Times, Feb. 23, 2024