Sunshine Week Starts March 13; FOIA Turning Fifty

February 3, 2016

Not everybody loves freedom of information. Those who do celebrate "Sunshine Week" annually in hopes of educating the public about why they need to know what their governments are up to. This year's Sunshine Week is March 13-19.

Newspapers, citizen groups, government agencies, and even librarians will be fielding events open to the public that will offer story ideas to journalists. The event, sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, lists events on its web page.

Will you or your organization be doing a project for Sunshine Week?

This year, Sunshine Week will get extra oomph from the fact that the Freedom of Information Act is turning 50 years old. Often amended, FOIA was first enacted July 4, 1966 (it took effect a year later).

Open-government groups are using that anniversary as an impetus in urging Congress to enact the most recent package of amendments to strengthen FOIA. Their slogan is "Fix FOIA by Fifty" (hashtag #FixFOIAby50).

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