Posted in Behind the News

Making Sunshine Week brighter

, by Lauren Easton

This Sunshine Week, AP has activated its Sunshine Hub, an online transparency tool that tracks state legislative attempts to alter the flow of public information.

The hub includes bills that seek to make certain information off-limits to the public or harder to access. AP member news organizations and customers can access it online

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote the importance of open government and freedom of information – an effort that has long been a priority at AP. 

AP participated in more than 30 courtroom access matters begun during 2018, including motions to unseal court records, open court hearings, fight prior restraints and the filing of public records lawsuits. 

Among other highlights, AP participated in a coalition of news organizations that successfully moved for public release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing sexual abuse cases in six Catholic dioceses in the state, and was active in transparency matters surrounding the Mueller investigation, filing several motions to unseal court records and hearings.  

“AP’s commitment to fighting for public transparency continues to pay dividends, often paving the way for meaningful reporting and establishing AP as a leader in the field,” said AP Assistant General Counsel Brian Barrett. 

AP’s Sunshine Week coverage includes stories examining local news deserts and how the loss of local news has impacted accountability journalism.