Let There Be Light: Sunshine Week Lobbies for Government Transparency

Launched in 2005 by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, Sunshine Week is intended to raise awareness of the public's right to information. It came about in response to several Florida legislators' attempts to create new exemptions to the state's public records law.

Sensing that this was more than a local phenomenon, the campaign soon took on a national footprint, as various publishers rallied to the cause.

This year, Sunshine Week is increasing its outreach efforts to Hispanic media, recognizing its growing importance in the nation's overall media landscape: “One of our goals is to engage Hispanic media in our mission. As such, we've made available much of our promotional material in Spanish,” says Sunshine Week coordinator Debra Hernandez. Sunshine Week's Hispanic component is running under the tagline, “Saber. Es su derecho (Find out. It's your right!)!”

Eight journalists have joined Sunshine Week's 2007 Spanish Language Working Group to promote the importance of open government in the Hispanic community. They are:

Gilbert Bailon, editor and publisher, Al Día, Dallas; vice president, American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Dino Chiecchi, editor of Hispanic publications, San Antonio Express-News; former president, National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Sallie Hughes, assistant professor, School of Communications, University of Miami.

Sergio Muñoz, syndicated columnist; former editorial board member, now contributing editor, Los Angeles Times.

Mirta Ojito, author, journalist and visiting professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York.

Rafael Palacio, editor, El Sentinel, Orlando.

David Sedeño, publisher, Diario La Estrella, Star-Telegram, Ft. Worth.


Cindy Rodriguez, columnist, The Denver Post; vice president of print, NAHJ.


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