Sunshine Week is an annual celebration of the important work each of us are doing in our communities to encourage access to public information. The American Society of News Editors and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press team together to sponsor an annual “Toolkit” that is full of free resources that individual publications can use during Sunshine Week.
Sunshine Week is about the public’s right to know what its government is doing, and why.
Maryland recently joined a handful of states seeking to make law enforcement agencies more transparent. With the passage of Anton’s Law in 2021, many details about internal police discipline could be released to the public. But so far, journalists, advocates and others seeking to find out more about how police agencies handle complaints about misconduct are learning that getting the records is proving to be, at best, a mixed experience. Law enforcement agencies say they are trying to comply with the law, but for many, it is a matter of sifting through reams of documents, many on paper, an expensive and time-consuming process. For Sunshine Week, the annual national exploration of transparency in government, running from March 13 to 19, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association is assessing how well Anton’s Law has been working in Maryland since it took effect on Oct. 1, 2021.
There will be a panel discussion on Monday, March 21, about what Anton’s Law means for public records and where advocates and journalists go from here. The panelists will be moderated by Miranda Spivack, author of “Implementing Anton’s Law,” and will include Maryland State Sen. Jill Carter (District 41), Maryland Del. Gabriel Acevero, Yanet Amanuel of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Matt Zernhelt of Baltimore Action Legal Team. The panel is free and open to the public. Register here.