Sunshine Week occurs each year in mid-March, coinciding with James Madison’s birthday and National Freedom of Information Day on the 16th.
The Florida Society of Newspaper Editors launched Sunshine Sunday in 2002 in response to efforts by some Florida legislators to create scores of new exemptions to the state’s public records law.
The following year, the idea of a national Sunshine Sunday was raised at an ASNE Freedom of Information summit.
In the planning stages, it was decided that the initiative needed to be more than a single Sunday, and Sunshine Week was born. The first nationwide Sunshine Week took place March 13–19, 2005.
This year, March 13-19 is Sunshine Week – a nationwide celebration of access to public information. It is a good time to ask: Is our government actually too open?
Reformers have tried to improve public access to information about decision making in government for decades. But some influential commentators now argue that the drive for transparency has gone too far, undermining the capacity of elected officials to reach agreement on policies and to make those policies work.
During Sunshine Week, the First Amendment Foundation, along with Historic City News, hundreds of media organizations, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and other participants engage public discussion on the importance of open government.