Sunshine Week Starts March 16. Turn Over Some Rocks.

March 5, 2014

Journalism and open-government groups will mount a host of special projects and forums March 16-22, 2014, to pry loose the secrets of a government that is supposed to be accountable to the public.

"News is what people want to keep hidden," journalist Bill Moyers is fond of saying, "and everything else is publicity." (He was paraphrasing George Orwell.)

Here are some key links and events:

  • Two groups, OpenTheGovernment.org and the Sunshine in Government Initiative, will hold a panel discussion March 14 on the stolen documents that revealed former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's secret program of blackmailing top U.S. elected officials. The panel will be held at the Newseum in D.C., and will also be webcast. More information here.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing March 11 on how to reinvigorate the Freedom of Information Act for the Digital Age. The panel is chaired by Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), a longtime open-government champion. It will be webcast. More information here.
  • A star-studded roster from the First Amendment bar will hold forth in an all-day American University conference March 18. Keynoter will be Carl Stern. Panels will discuss the federal legislative outlook, surveillance secrecy, and Privacy Act overhaul. Lunch speaker is Royce C. Lamberth, former presiding judge of the FISA court. More information here.
  • The Center for Responsive Politics will hold a discussion of Dark Money, campaign finance disclosure, and lobbying disclosure March 20 at the American Bar Association in D.C. More information here.
  • The National Press Club's Freedom of Information Committee and other groups will host a panel discussion on "Unlocking Government Data" March 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the National Press Club in DC. Co-sponsors include the Sunlight Foundation, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), OpentheGovernment.org, ProPublica and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. More information here.
  • You can find project ideas and many more Sunshine Week event listings at the official Sunshine Week website.