For several years, I’ve lovedÂ Sunshine Week — a campaign by the American Society of News Editors to call for more government transparency. Â It’s one of the few times that journalists and news orgs are willing to engage in direct activism, which makes for a lot of amusing verbal gymnastics.
Today at the Knight Digital Media Center, I wrote about new advocacy/awareness tool from Sunshine Week: a model proclamation that news orgs and other activists/advocates can customize, publish, and challenge specific government officials and agencies to adopt. It gets into specifics, at least to some extent.
It’s a good start, but here’s what else I’d love to see from Sunshine Week…
I’d really love it if they called for no more pdf-format publishing of government documents with arcane meaningless titles and no useful metadata. (City of Oakland, are you listening? Nah, I didn’t think so….)
…OK, personally I’m skeptical of the value of proclamations, even ones that call for specific actions. What I’d really love to see from Sunshine Week is an online interactive database where people and groups could file public incident reports about specific examples of government opacity or obstructionism, so we can track this issue better.