Sunshine Sunday, March 15

Dear Editors,

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Florida’s public records law. We hope you will join other Florida newspapers in recognizing this milestone as part of the eighth annual Sunshine Sunday, March 15.

Nationally, Sunshine Sunday has grown into Sunshine Week. The American Society of Newspaper Editors heard from Florida editors about the success of the event and is asking newspapers nationwide to raise awareness about open government and records access.

The Florida Society of News Editors asks newspapers to produce and publish editorials, columns, news stories, editorial cartoons and online elements, such as videos and blogs, on March 15 to help raise public awareness of the importance of open government in our state.

If you would like content for Sunshine Sunday, we can provide up to six profiles of the faces behind the 100th anniversary of Florida’s public records law. Also, we will have a look at President Obama’s move to make the federal government more transparent, based, in part, on the example set by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

Guest columns by Gov. Crist and Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Open Government Commission, will be available to all participating newspapers.

If you intend to participate in Sunshine Sunday, please contact Cory Lancaster at (or 386-681-2440) with a brief description of your plans by Friday, Feb. 20. Be sure to include your newspaper’s contact on this effort, including his/her e-mail address and phone number. This will ensure your content is properly posted on the FSNE Web site,, and shared nationally during Sunshine Week with the American Society of Newspaper Editors at


Cory Lancaster, FSNE board member and managing editor of The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Mike Connelly, FSNE board member and executive editor of The Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Did You Know?

A representative from Gadsden County, J. W. Mahaffey, introduced a bill in the Legislature in 1909 requiring that “all state, county and municipal records shall at all times be open for a personal inspection of any citizen of Florida and those in charge of such records shall not refuse this privilege to any citizen.” Violators were subject to removal from office or impeachment. The bill became law without opposition on June 1.

Source: The First Amendment Foundation


Sunshine Sunday 2009





Faces behind the 100th anniversary of Florida's public records law

New Material for ASNE Sunshine Toolkit

New Sunshine Week 2010 toolkit material is now available for use!

You’ll find editorial cartoons, op-eds, calendar, logos and info graphics there. Just click on the tab for “Toolkits.”

New material will be posted daily. Later this week, we will post a nationwide poll on the public’s attitudes about FOIA.