Groups plan weeklong event to promote freedom of information

Organizers of the first national Sunshine Week are hoping to shed some light on the importance of open government and freedom of information – and are encouraging student journalists to do the same.


The weeklong program, from March 13 – 19, highlights citizens’ rights to access public information and is meant to raise awareness of the danger of government secrecy, said Sunshine Week coordinator Debra Gersh Hernandez. The lessons are just as important for student journalists as they are for professionals, she said.

Professional media outlets are planning editorials and editorial cartoons about freedom of information, which is something members of the student media can do as well, Hernandez said. Other activities include holding discussion panels about access and public information, and conducting freedom of information audits on campus by asking officials for access to public records.

Black College Wire, a news service of historically black colleges and universities, has partnered with Sunshine Week organizers to publicize the program on college campuses.

Black College Wire is posting sample editorials on its

SPLC View: The Student Press Law Center is planning a special series of stories for Sunshine Week that will be available as Related