New — The Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University has shared a column for Sunshine Week. It can be downloaded here: Sunshine 2021 Free Speech Center
The column includes this advice on how to support transparency in government: Read and support your local newspaper. Local journalists, more than anyone else, will stand up for your right to information. Facebook will not be going toe-to-toe with your mayor.
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The Missouri Sunshine Coalition reminds all open-government advocates that Sunshine Week is Sunday, March 14, through Saturday, March 20. This is the 16th annual national and state observance.
The coalition will be distributing its next Missouri Sunshine News & Notes newsletter soon, highlighting many recent topics in the news, the courts and the General Assembly. For more information, contact Dennis Ellsworth, coalition executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816- 261-5373.
Sunshine Week was founded in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors — now the News Leaders Association. The group offers a content “toolkit” for news organizations wanting to mark the week. Visit newsleaders.org/sunshine-week-about to access this content.
The Sunshine Week content toolkit is a free resource for any media outlet, journalist, school, civic or non-profit organization — anyone interested in publishing the content during the week to amplify the importance of access to public information.
As Sunshine Week nears, and sometimes during the week, more material will be added. Be sure to check back often.
The group also suggests these activities:
- •News organizations might choose to highlight theimportance of open government through stories, editorials, columns, cartoons or graphics.
- • Individual supporters might offer to speak to civic groupsabout the importance of the Sunshine Law.
- •A local coalition of citizens, business and mediarepresentatives might ask their elected officials to pass a proclamation affirming their commitment to the importance of open, accessible government meetings and records.
For assistance with any of these activities, contact the News Leaders Association or Ellsworth at the Missouri Sunshine Coalition.
Learn more about Sunshine Week here.