Open government is good government!
Celebrate Sunshine Week March 11-17

Make plans now to join SCPA and news organizations across the country in the discussion about the importance of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.

Sunshine Week will be celebrated March 11-17.

In addition to running SCPA and nationally created materials, we encourage you to craft your own Sunshine Week editorials, stories, columns, cartoons and graphics. Our theme is "the PUBLIC's right to know."

“Open government is good government, and we want to use Sunshine Week to show the public that it’s everyone’s right to know about the actions of public bodies and public officials,” said Bill Rogers, executive director of SCPA. “Citizen access to public records and public meetings is critical. We’re using Sunshine Week 2018 to share the basics of our state’s FOIA so everyone will know and understand their rights.”

Sunshine Week Logos

Download Sunshine Week logos.

Local Sunshine Week Op-Eds

Dr. Eric Robinson, assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications has written a column on the need for public accountability after mass shootings. Download Robinson's column as a PDF or Word doc. Download Robinson's mugshot in color or black-and-white.

SCPA's FOI Chair Richard Whiting, executive editor of the Index-Journal in Greenwood, has written a column titled, "When it comes to public information, be the Beastmaster." Download Richard's column as a PDF or Word doc. Download Richard's mugshot in color or black-and-white.

Sunshine Week House Ad

We've created a house ad, available as a quarter page ad (5.25x10.5). Download in color or black-and-white.

Sunshine Week Cartoon

Upstate cartoonist Mike Beckom will be sharing a cartoon for Sunshine Week. Download it in color or black-and-white.

Citizen's Guide to the FOIA

We've updated the Citizen's Guide to the FOIA to reflect recent changes to the law. Please use these web ads to help promote the guide.

More Sunshine Week Resources

The national Sunshine Week website also has many free resources to use during Sunshine Week, including a special reporting package of stories, columns, an editorial and a cartoon for use during Sunshine Week 2018, March 11-17. The entire package will be available free of charge the week of March 5 for any participant to publish online and/or in print during the week of March 11-17. The reporting project is being spearheaded by ASNE’s First Amendment Committee leaders Mindy Marques, executive editor of the Miami Herald, and Peter Bhatia, editor of the Detroit Free Press, and AP state government team editor Tom Verdin. Here's the budget:

Reporters covering election campaigns have always been wary of the “October Surprise,” a bombshell revelation that hits just before the election. Today, they have a lot more to be concerned about. The rise of social media as a forum for spreading phony news, the lack of transparency surrounding online ads and posts, coordinated disinformation campaigns and Russian interference in the country’s elections are creating new perils for the news media during an already unstable time. By Nicholas Riccardi/AP. About 1,000 words. Photos.

An Idaho lawmaker urges her constituents to send in submissions for her “fake news awards” during the legislative session. The Kentucky governor tweets #fakenews to dismiss questions about his unusual home purchase from a top campaign donor. A campaign aide for the Texas land commissioner uses the phrase to play down the significance of his boss receiving major donations from employees of a company that landed a multi-million-dollar contract. President Trump’s campaign to discredit the news media and dismiss critical reporting has spread throughout the political landscape. Officials at all levels of government are now using the term “fake news” as a weapon against unflattering stories and information that can tarnish their images. Observers say the trend could be damaging long-term by blurring the line between fact and fiction, sowing confusion among the electorate and allowing voters to decide which facts to believe and which to ignore. By Ryan J. Foley/AP. 900 words. Photos.

The state of press freedoms in the US, based on an annual survey by the Newseum’s First Amendment Center. By Lata Nott, executive director.

A video graphic explaining how a news story gets reported and edited. How do journalists decide which stories to pursue, how are they reported, how are they vetted and edited? By AP.

Additional opinion columns, editorial cartoons, logos and other materials are available in the Sunshine Week Toolkit.

Contact us

Jen Madden • • 803.750.9561 • toll-free 1-888-727-7377
Bill Rogers • • 803.750.9561 • toll-free 1-888-727-7377

Your Sunshine Week promotions:

Now is the time to craft your own Sunshine Week editorials, stories, columns, cartoons and graphics:

  • Tell readers about the role you've played in fighting for their right to know.
  • Write a feature on your community's local heroes who have battled for access to information or to open meetings.
  • Explain how access to public information helped develop news stories and was used by your paper's journalists over the past year. 

After you've published your Sunshine Week promotions, please share them with us!