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Sunshine Week: Support Local Journalism

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About the Author: Gene Policinski
Gene Policinski is the senior fellow for the First Amendment at the Freedom Forum, where he writes, lectures and speaks on an array of First Amendment topics. His work often focuses on press freedom and free speech issues, including whistleblower protections, data privacy and the intersection of news coverage and courts. He regularly contributes to the Freedom Forum’s “First Five” series, has been published in several law review journals and wrote a chapter on press freedom in the American Bar Association book “Whistleblowers, Leaks and the First Amendment.” He is also the author of a new book, “From the Village Green to the Village Screen,” which explores the evolution of First Amendment law, customs and social mores. Since arriving at the Freedom Forum in 1996, Policinski has served in many roles including as executive director of the First Amendment Center, president of the Diversity Institute and chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum Institute, among others. He was a founding editor of USA Today.

Growing secrecy limits government accountability

Bright tips for public support, Sunshine Week

About the Author: David Cuillier

The Freedom of Information Project is dedicated to protecting a robust, uninhibited marketplace of ideas and exploring what access to public information looks like in the digital age. As director, David Cuillier will facilitate public engagement, research and operational collaborations, build capacity and sustainability through fund-raising and grant requests, serve as an expert on matters of access to information and open government practices, and manage a team of collaborators.

Previously, Cuillier was an associate professor and director of graduate studies at the University of Arizona School of Journalism. A leading authority on freedom of information, he also served as president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. During the past two decades, Cuillier has taught more than 10,000 journalists, students and citizens on how to acquire public records, and is co-author of “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records” and “Transparency 2.0: Digital Data and Privacy in a Wired World.”

He is a member of the Federal FOIA Advisory Committee, which provides guidance to the National Archivist on how to improve the Freedom of Information Act, and he has testified three times before Congress regarding FOIA.

Additional columns [ PDF format, originally printed in the The IRE Journal ]:
• Protect hard-won documents from theft, breakdowns and the government (IRE Journal, Q4 2023)
• Expert strategies for getting EPA records: You gotta play to win (IRE Journal, Q1 2023)
• Records reconnaissance: Military documents for every reporter (IRE Journal, Q3 2022)
• Records for social justice: The records you need to expose injustice (IRE Journal, Q3 2021)

Celebrate a free press by guarding your right to open government and accurate information

About the Author: Sally Lehrman

Photo by Tim Lundin

Sally Lehrman, an award-winning journalist, founded and leads The Trust Project, an international collaboration that she began building in 2014 to strengthen public confidence in the news through accountability and transparency. The consortium, which involves hundreds of news organizations, has created a set of digital standards called “Trust Indicators” that help the public and news distribution platforms easily identify reliable news sites. Lehrman provides vision and strategy, guiding the effort as it implements the news industry’s first-ever transparency standards for users to see and machines to read, also overseeing collaborative implementation and scaling among newsrooms around the world. Lehrman was named one of MediaShift’s Top 20 Digital Innovators in 2018 for this work.

Previously an award-winning reporter on medicine, science and related policy, especially in the areas of genetics, race and gender, Lehrman’s honors include a Peabody/Robert Wood Johnson Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Programming, a duPont/Columbia Silver Baton, various other reporting and writing awards and the John S. Knight Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Nature, Health,,, and the public radio documentary series, The DNA Files, distributed by NPR, among others.

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