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Project Sunshine
Information
A Winning Strategy


Freedom of Information
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Quill: Stories About FOI
– Why the #FreePress editorials were not enough
– Meet the victims of violence against journalists
– World Press Freedom Day hits home

FOI Committee
This committee is the watchdog of press freedoms across the nation. It relies upon a network of volunteers in each state organized under Project Sunshine. These SPJ members are on the front lines for assaults to the First Amendment and when lawmakers attempt to restrict the public's access to documents and the government's business. The committee often is called upon to intervene in instances where the media is restricted.

Freedom of Information Committee Chair

Danielle McLean
Investigative reporter
ThinkProgress
E-mail
@DanielleBMcLean
Bio (click to expand) picture Danielle McLean is an investigative reporter at ThinkProgress and chair of SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee. Over the past five years, McLean has worked as an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News and has been published in the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the MetroWest Daily News, the Milford Daily News, and dozens of weekly Massachusetts publications. She was ranked no. 13 in Scout Somerville magazine’s list of the top 40 local leaders in the City of Somerville, Massachusetts for her reporting at the Somerville Journal newspaper and has won the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s government, transportation, business and economic, and courts and crime reporting awards. McLean previously served as president of SPJ’s New England chapter, pushing for public records reform and a free press. Under her watch, the chapter won SPJ’s 2014-15 Circle of Excellence award for Freedom of Information.

Home > Freedom of Information > Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week Logo
Your right to know  •  March 11-17, 2018

Let the Sunshine In!
FOI Activities for Chapters, Classrooms and Newsrooms


SPJ and the Government Accountability Project have teamed up with several other whistleblowing and media organizations to inform journalists on how they can safely work with whistleblowers, and have created a comprehensive case for why those brave workers who risk everything should be praised and better protected.



Sunshine Week

New for 2018: SW18 Reporting package
Sunshine Week Toolkit
Sunshine Week website
Chapter FOI program ideas
Campus FOI resources
FOI activities for newsrooms
Writing about FOI
Curriculum and classroom ideas for teachers
FOI resources


SPJ's Black Hole Award: The Society of Professional Journalists launched the Black Hole Award in order to highlight the most heinous violations of the public’s right to know. By exposing examples of unnecessary and harmful secrecy, we hope to educate the public to their rights and hold government accountable. To learn more, visit the Black Hole Award web page.

Reporter’s Guide to FERPA: Navigating the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act: Ever have a tough time getting public records from schools or universities? We feel your pain and are here to help you. The federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act has been twisted beyond recognition, keeping school lunch menus, graduation honors and athletic travel records secret. Take back your right to information with this guide, produced by the Society of Professional Journalists in conjunction with the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

Fostering FOI

It’s our duty as journalists, and a key mission for SPJ, to shine light into the dark recesses of government secrecy. To that end, this SPJ Web site provides ideas for chapters, newsrooms and instructors to promote and further freedom of information in their communities. We’ve gleaned the best of chapter FOI programs from recent years as well as great Sunshine Week projects. We’ve gathered tips, facts and quotable expert sources for writing stories or editorials about FOI. We’ve provided classroom activities for instructors and ideas for newsroom brown-bags. These ideas can be applied during National Sunshine Week, which is March 15-21, or any time of the year. Let the sunshine in!

Sunshine Week

National Sunshine Week has been celebrated every March since 2005, thanks to the hard work of the American Society of News Editors. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media, civics groups, non-profits, schools and libraries. The activities are funded from a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to enlighten the public about their right to government information and strengthen their communities.


Click here to contact the Project Sunshine Chair in your state.


Project Sunshine
Information
A Winning Strategy


Freedom of Information
FOIA Home
News/Articles
Find FOI in your state
FOI step-by-step guides

Quill: Stories About FOI
– Why the #FreePress editorials were not enough
– Meet the victims of violence against journalists
– World Press Freedom Day hits home

FOI Committee
This committee is the watchdog of press freedoms across the nation. It relies upon a network of volunteers in each state organized under Project Sunshine. These SPJ members are on the front lines for assaults to the First Amendment and when lawmakers attempt to restrict the public's access to documents and the government's business. The committee often is called upon to intervene in instances where the media is restricted.

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