News for Digital Journalists

February 14, 2011

Sunshine Week shows how to call for open government

Journalists usually shy away from direct activism, but many are willing to advocate proudly for greater government transparency. The American Society of News Editors (ASNE), which organizes the annual Sunshine Week awareness campaign, recently published a tool that news organizations can use to get government agencies and officials to commit to specific types of openness…

On Feb. 11, ASNE published a model open government proclamation which can be used to push for greater transparency in government. This document goes beyond encouraging broad statements of support, and calls for specific pledges and plans of action to enhance the public’s right to know.

How to use this document: Customize it, publish it, and during Sunshine Week (March 13-19) challenge specific government officials or agencies to adopt to it. Then hold them accountable for progress.

Perhaps a coalition of national news organizations might challenge the US Senate to adopt to this proclamation—especially since the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act was killed by a secret Senate hold in December.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Comments

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