Archive:Blogshine Sunday

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The American Society of Newspaper Editors is organizing "Sunshine Sunday" on March 13 and "Sunshine Week" March 13-19. News organizations will run stories, editorials and cartoons urging greater access to government information. Our response: Blogshine Sunday.

Draft text


  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression ... to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
    Article 19, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted 1948
  • Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press
    First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, ratified 1791
  • A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.
    Pres. James Madison, 1822
  • Give me the liberty to know, to utter and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
    John Milton, 1644
  • The more that government becomes secret, the less it remains free.
    James Russell Wiggins, newspaper editor, 1956
  • We seek a free flow of information...we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values.
    Pres. John F. Kennedy, 1962
  • The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
    Patrick Henry, 1788
  • We must never forget that the free flow of information is essential to a democratic society.
    Pres. Clinton, 2000
  • Government ought to be all outside and no inside.
    Pres. Woodrow Wilson
  • The only effective restraint upon executive policy in the areas of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry -- in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government.
    Justice Potter Stewart, 1971
  • Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe.
    Pres. Abraham Lincoln, 1861
  • Democracies die behind closed doors. The First Amendment, through a free press, protects the people's right to know that their government acts fairly, lawfully, and accurately.
    Judge Damon Keith
  • Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know.
    Pres. John Adams
  • When information which properly belongs to the public is systematically withheld by those in power, the people soon become ignorant of their own affairs, distrustful of those who manage them, and -- eventually -- incapable of determining their own destinies.
    Pres. Richard Nixon, 1972


On March 13, 2005, news organizations across the United States will participate in "Sunshine Sunday" by running stories and editorials in support of access to government information. Freedom of information is vital to the health of democracy. That's why has organized "Blogshine Sunday" on the same day: to ensure that government remains accessible to tomorrow's journalists.

  1. In an increasingly wired society, government documents need to be digital and online, not just buried in archives; not just online, but in open file formats, without requiring registration or tracking users' personal information, in open databases to which no one can be denied access.
  2. "Professional" journalists are not the only people who deserve access to our government -- everyone does.




OPEN Government Act

Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act of 2005 (OPEN Government Act, S. 394), sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.)



Oppression of bloggers

Apple v. Does case

Digital access



Blogs to contact

We want to get a nice assortment of people participating by writing about how access to government records affects them. Copyright, technology, or politics blogs are good, but it can be anything that involves access to government records: sports (think police files), local/school blogs, education, science, the environment, international affairs...

  • Don't have to be U.S. blogs, but it's probably more relevant, so it'd be sort of silly to put too much effort into recruiting international blogs.
  • Could be multi-author/organizational blogs or individual blogs.

Spanish text

Noticia: Blogshine Sunday, el Domingo de Brillar los Blogs

Quiero invitarles a Uds. a participar en Blogshine Sunday (El Domingo de Brillar los Blogs), una acción web organizada por (Cultura Libre), el cual es un grupo político estudiantil fundado en los EE.UU. En Blogshine Sunday, los bloggers escribirán sobre la importancia del acceso libre a información gubermental, no sólo para los periodistas profesionales sino también los bloggers.

Vea más en nuestra página web,

[ Press release in English follows ]

Un saludo.

Already Contacted

Plenty of press organizations / open government groups / media outlets have been contacted as well; please check the Core list for details

Sort of contacted

These blogs were indirectly contacted (e.g. the news should have reached one of their writers through one means or another)

To contact

The reason many of these were not contacted is because I'm not sure how likely these are to participate -- use your judgment, perhaps

Not Quite Blogs

They're not blogs, but they definitely relate to blogging and/or citizen journalism. Could we work with them in some way?