‘Sunshine Week’ brings freedom of information events to DC

By Sarah Gibson


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The Society of Professional Journalists is hosting “Sunshine Week” from March 11-17 in the District.

The initiative promotes open government and the importance of journalists’ access to information.

Traci Hughes, former director of the Office of Open Government, will speak March 13 at the Open Government Summit, led by the D.C. Open Government Coalition. Her contract for her position as inaugural director was not renewed after her first five-year term in what Hughes said was a political decision following her opposition to several policies of the District’s administration, such as when she came out against the mayor’s 2015 proposal to exempt footage from body cameras worn by police from public records requests.

The events will take place across the District and will feature experts in open government and journalism from major news organizations and the government.

Here are some of the week’s events:

Friday, March 9: Fighting for transparency and freedom of information; 8:30 a.m. to noon. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Tuesday, March 13: Open Government Summit, led by the D.C. Open Government Coalition; 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. American Bar Association, 1050 Connecticut Ave. NW, 5th floor.

Wednesday, March 14:  Truth Be Told: Whistleblowers, Journalism & Democracy, co-sponsored by the Government Accountability Project, the Society of Professional Journalists’ national Freedom of Information Committee and SPJ DC Pro;  7 to 9 p.m., UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, 4340 Connecticut Ave., NW., Room 518

Wednesday, March 14: National Press Club panel on media access in the Trump administration; 6:30 to 8 p.m., 529 14th Street NW (13th floor, Zenger Room). The event, sponsored by the Freedom of the Press Committee, will examine limits on access to public information under the Trump administration and how they vary agency-to-agency and compare to previous administrations.

For a full list, visit the Events page of the “Sunshine Week” website.