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For Sunshine Week and every week: our FOI material

First Amendment Center Online

Each year during March, journalism organizations undertake a nationwide campaign to press for government access, which they say is being denied more often by officials who claim post-Sept. 11 security concerns warrant keeping information secret. It's called Sunshine Week.

Sunshine Week 2006 is March 12-18.

News organizations will run stories, editorials and cartoons on the subject. The project, joined by more than 50 news outlets, journalism groups, universities and the American Library Association, was inspired by a campaign in Florida three years ago.

One major highlight will be the First Amendment Center's annual National FOI Day conference at the Freedom Forum in Arlington, Va., which will be held Thursday, March 16. Sunshine Week is cosponsoring the conference this year.

The First Amendment Center Online offers comprehensive research and resources on all aspects of Freedom of Information — as well as news, commentaries and more.

  • Sunshine Week Web site
  • Journalists to launch 'Sunshine Week'
  • 2005 National FOI Day conference
  • National FOIA Hall of Fame
  • National FOI Day general information page
  • Freedom of Information Topics and Federal and State FOI Statutes in The First Amendment Library
  • Associated Press FOI Web site


    Journalists to launch 'Sunshine Week'

    Nationwide campaign starting in March will press for more access to government information. 01.01.05

    Cornyn-Leahy bill would close Freedom of Information gaps

    OPEN Government Act, endorsed by liberal and conservative groups, aims to reduce delays, let citizens track their FOI requests. 02.17.05

    News media groups join forces to promote open government

    Meanwhile, Sens. Cornyn, Leahy to introduce bill creating panel to study ways to speed release of records under FOIA. 03.10.05

    Nationwide information clampdown frustrates average citizens
    Security, privacy fears tip balance against Freedom of Information Act presumption that government records should be open to public. 03.13.05

    AP review: Federal government sealing off data
    'Law itself is unchanged, but it's being interpreted more broadly to withhold more information,' says open-government advocate. 03.14.05

    Communities adjust to medical-privacy laws
    Practices which helped neighbors stay connected — such as printing, broadcasting of hospitals' patient lists — are largely gone in wake of HIPAA. 03.14.05

    2005 National FOI Day conference
    Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Floyd Abrams to speak at event on 'Congress and the Courts: Confronting Secrecy.' 03.15.05

    Arbiter would ease FOIA disputes, experts say
    Costly court battles currently decide appeals of government denials of freedom-of-information requests. 03.16.05

    Reporter filed FOIA request in 1981; still waiting
    San Francisco Chronicle's Seth Rosenfeld's saga includes three lawsuits; FBI still withholding documents. 03.16.05

    Openness must govern government, Sen. Cornyn says
    By Eugenia Harris Democracy requires 'informed consent' afforded by open government, Texas Republican tells conference. 03.17.05

    States do poor job of providing public-records access
    Residents find roadblocks even in states considered to be the most open, according to Brechner Citizen Access Project. 03.17.05

    Senate panel approves 'Faster FOIA' bill
    Unanimous vote sends measure sponsored by John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to full chamber. 03.17.05

    Project brings readers, officials into FOI discussions
    Associated Press Managing Editors launches effort to improve local coverage of freedom-of-information issues, engage public and public officials on related issues. 03.18.05

    Access faces formidable foe in privacy fears
    By Eugenia Harris FOI Day panelists wrangle with what sorts of information should be readily available to public. 03.18.05

    Student Press Law Center raising endowment
    Center provides free legal advice to students, school advisers on free press and freedom-of-information issues. 03.19.05

    Novel excuses multiply for shielding government data
    'Agencies seem to view their role as coming up with techniques to keep information secret rather than the other way around,' says lawyer for AP. 03.21.05

    Senate panel passes bill targeting FOIA exemptions
    Measure would require that additional exceptions to open-government law be spelled out precisely in new legislation. 06.10.05

    Former journalist named honorary Sunshine Week chairman
    Hodding Carter, who worked for The Wall Street Journal, PBS' 'Frontline' will be national spokesman for weeklong open-government campaign. 02.02.06

    States clamp down on public access to info
    AP analysis: Since 2001 attacks, states have passed more than twice as many laws that restrict data as measures that loosen access. 03.12.06

    Congress must champion access
    By Paul K. McMasters Government information must be branded as crucial to democracy, to responsible governance and to freedom. 07.11.02

    Homeland security FOIA exemption leaves us in dark
    By Paul K. McMasters Legislation that's supposed to protect us actually just ensures we won't know what hit us. 05.10.03

    What we can’t know hurts us
    By Paul K. McMasters In the war on terrorism, too much public information is missing in action. 02.06.05

    Government secrecy: dark cloud over open society
    By Paul K. McMasters To block public information is to accept too easily that keeping enemies at bay means keeping citizens in the dark. 03.13.05

    The public's right to know is under attack
    By Sen. Patrick J. Leahy Erosion of Freedom of Information Act weakens vital protections for American citizens, Vermont Democrat writes. 03.15.05

    How to file an FOIA request

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