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.
Recent Sunshine Week Projects
2023: Access to Information from Public School Systems in MD, DE, and DC
Public education is in the news almost daily, and parents, teachers and even the system’s own administrators, are eager to learn more about what’s happening in their school systems. For 2023’s Sunshine Week, MDDC is offering a package of stories and graphics that examine what type of information the public school systems in D.C., and Maryland, and a sampling in Delaware, make available through their most public facing venue: their websites. It’s a mixed picture, as you might expect. Veteran reporter Miranda Spivack, working with MDDC board member Andy Schotz and MDDC administrator Sam Savage, evaluated 29 websites, to find out.
There will be a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 15, about the results of this project. The panelists will be moderated by Rebecca Snyder, Executive Director of MDDC The panel is free and open to the public. Register here.
2022: Implementing Anton’s Law in Maryland
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.
2021: Agencies have patchwork approach to tracking public records requests
Led by Andy Schotz, editor of Bethesda Beat, and Luciana Perez Uribe Guinassi, MDDC’s public policy intern and UMD Merrill College of Journalism graduate student, MDDC conducted a one-month test of government agencies in Maryland. This project revealed a patchwork of approaches in how public records are tracked and how requests for access are filled.