Celebrate Sunshine Week March 13-19

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunshine Week 2016 is set for March 13-19. The Iowa Newspaper Association joins other groups across the country who are taking advantage of this special week with plans for events spotlighting open government and for special news reporting.

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know. Sunshine Week 2016 is brought to you by the American Society of News Editors and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, with generous support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bloomberg and The Gridiron Club and Foundation.

The Sunshine Week website (www.sunshineweek.org) provides the materials participants may need during the weeklong look at the importance of government transparency. The toolkit will be continually updated as Sunshine Week nears, and will include a selection of opinion columns, cartoons, house and public-service ads, and event logos, all of which are offered free to participants. INA will also be providing members a guest editorial and other information to share with readers.

Since the nationwide Sunshine Week was launched, participants have included print, broadcast and digital media outlets; government officials; schools and universities; non-profit and civic organizations; libraries and archivists; and interested individuals. Everyone is welcome to participate and may use the resources provided on the website to mark their open-government efforts that week.

INA has also made available a guest editorial from Rox Laird, retired Des Moines Register editorial writer and a member of both the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and the INA’s Government Relations Committee. INA members are requested to run the article during Sunshine Week. Access it here.

For the first time, the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Iowa Newspaper Association will be hosting a “Celebrate Sunshine” reception to remind state legislators of the importance of an open government. The reception will be held from 7-9 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, in the Capitol rotunda.