Sunshine Week 2015 (10th anniversary)

Sunshine Week 2015 (March 15-21) was an impressive and fruitful year. More than 500 participants (and still counting: see for the growing list) produced high-impact, creative work, and nonstop social media buzz spread sunshine across the nation regardless of the weather.

The @SunshineWeek Twitter account picked up more than 270 new followers in March alone and garnered some 351 mentions. The biggest traffic on Twitter came under the #SunshineWeek hashtag, which was used to highlight participants' work, as well as to exclaim support for the effort and open government in general. The Sunshine Week Facebook page had a total reach of about 15,000 in March.

The unprecedented reporting package from The Associated Press, The McClatchy Company, USA TODAY and Gannett Co., Inc., helped publicize the importance of open government and freedom of information. Provided to everyone free of charge, the news reporting and state-by-state breakdown, as well as the essay by AP President Gary Pruitt, timeline graphic and video, allowed strong Sunshine Week coverage in print and online publications around the nation. This demonstrates how important the contributions of major news organizations are in the success of Sunshine Week.

In addition to the reporting package, the op-ed by Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and all of the impressive contributions, including numerous opinion columns, editorial cartoons and other resources on the Sunshine Week website, helped us garner coverage from Alaska to Guam. There was also great participation by state press associations, trade groups and FOI/First Amendment coalitions, which galvanized their members to action, culled examples of their outstanding work and presented awards for both the heroes and anti-heroes of open government.

Sunshine Week 2015 was made possible by the generosity of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bloomberg, and the Gridiron Club and Foundation.

Reporting package content 

RICHMOND, Va. -- The public's right to see government records is coming at an ever-increasing price, and in many cases the fees and hourly charges are acting as barriers to transparency. Some states have taken steps to limit the fees, but those efforts stand out as exceptions amid a broader landscape of challenges to public access to information. By Michael Felberbaum of The Associated Press. With photos.


- BC-US--Sunshine Week-Access at a Price-Glance, a rundown of cost-related issues and legislation in 18 states.

- BC-US--Sunshine Week-State by State, summaries of the AP's Sunshine Week stories in all 50 states.



WASHINGTON -- Newspapers were once the dominant force in dislodging documents and other records from reluctant federal government agencies, but a new crop of media players, advocacy groups and corporate interests now drive the release of information and changes the way this information is made public. By Kevin Hall of McClatchy Newspapers and Kevin Johnson of USA Today.

2. Essay by AP President Gary Pruitt 



NEW YORK -- Opinion piece on access issues from Gary Pruitt. 

Click here to download Pruitt's headshot. 
Caption: "Associated Press President and CEO Gary Pruitt at headquarters in New York, Friday, Oct 12, 2012." 
Photo by Santos Chaparro 

3. Video of FOIA Package


A three-minute video tour of stories from FOIA archives that ranges from a request that's been on the docket for 17 years to one federal agency's  refusal to release a 30-year document because it's still "incomplete." Video credit:  Ali Rizvi and Sohail Al-Jamea, McClatchy

4. Sunshine Timeline/Graphic



Available for both online and print publication, a graphic/timeline traces events over the past 10 years that show the country's ambivalence over the free flow of information. The print version is available in both a quarter-page size with illustrations and a smaller text-only version. From McClatchy's Shared News Services staff and Tribune Content Agency.

Op/Ed by Eric Newton


Click here to download the op-ed by Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 
This can be published online and in print as early as Thursday, March 12

Click here to download Newton's headshot in high res.