Sunshine Week 2018 reporting package

This year, ASNE, The Associated Press and the Associated Press Media Editors are, once again, marking Sunshine Week with a special reporting package that examines some of the new challenges confronting traditional journalism.

Contents are available on the AP wire and also posted below as links and on the Sunshine Week website. All of the materials are embargoed for use in print editions of Sunday and online at 3:01 a.m. EST Sunday. The entire coverage is free, and we strongly encourage you to use it.

The reporting project is being spearheaded by ASNE's First Amendment Committee leaders Mindy Marques, executive editor of the Miami Herald, and Peter Bhatia, editor of the Detroit Free Press, and AP state government team editor Tom Verdin.

Additional opinion columns, editorial cartoons, logos and other materials are available in the Sunshine Week Toolkit.

Sunshine Week 2018 is made possible by an endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and by a generous donation from The Gridiron Club and Foundation.

For more information about Sunshine Week, visit Follow Sunshine Week on Twitter and Facebook, and use the hashtag #SunshineWeek.

Sunshine Week budget

WASHINGTON _ The federal government censored, withheld or said it couldn't find records sought by citizens, journalists and others more often last year than at any point in the past decade, according to an Associated Press analysis of new data. The calculations cover eight months under President Donald Trump, the first hints about how his administration complies with the Freedom of Information Act. By Ted Bridis. 900 words. Photo.

Reporters covering election campaigns have always been wary of the “October Surprise,” a bombshell revelation that hits just before the election. Today, they have a lot more to be concerned about. The rise of social media as a forum for spreading phony news, the lack of transparency surrounding online ads and posts, coordinated disinformation campaigns and Russian interference in the country’s elections are creating new perils for the news media during an already unstable time. By Nicholas Riccardi/AP. About 1,000 words. Photos.

An Idaho lawmaker urges her constituents to send in submissions for her “fake news awards” during the legislative session. The Kentucky governor tweets #fakenews to dismiss questions about his unusual home purchase from a top campaign donor. A campaign aide for the Texas land commissioner uses the phrase to play down the significance of his boss receiving major donations from employees of a company that landed a multi-million-dollar contract. President Trump’s campaign to discredit the news media and dismiss critical reporting has spread throughout the political landscape. Officials at all levels of government are now using the term “fake news” as a weapon against unflattering stories and information that can tarnish their images. Observers say the trend could be damaging long-term by blurring the line between fact and fiction, sowing confusion among the electorate and allowing voters to decide which facts to believe and which to ignore. By Ryan J. Foley/AP. 900 words. Photos.

The state of press freedoms in the US, based on an annual survey by the Newseum’s First Amendment Center. By Lata Nott, executive director. Headshot.

A video graphic offering transparency about the process journalists go through to report and edit news stories fairly and accurately. By AP Graphics. Length: 2 minutes, 50 seconds.