What is Sunshine Week?
Launched in 2005 by the News Leaders Association, Sunshine Week is a national initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy. This year, Sunshine Week will take place on March 12-18.
Open government is also an important piece U.S. history. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966, requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased or uncirculated information and documents controlled by the U.S. government.
“Those are your records produced by your people, your elected officials. If there is something going on, those are documents we want to share with you. That’s what makes FOIA important.” – Schuyler Kropf, Editor, State Government & Politics, The Post and Courier
Sunshine Week celebrates the public’s right to know what U.S. government officials are doing and why. It also informs people of how to go about requesting that information through FOIA requests.
While anyone has the right to submit a FOIA request, some may be hesitant or feel discouraged to request them due to the high costs or delays put in place. It’s a reminder of why The Post and Courier launched the “Uncovered” project in February 2021. The continuing series, in partnership with close to 20 community newspapers around the state, aims to fill the void of news deserts and shine a light on corruption in South Carolina. “Uncovered” helps obtain information the public needs to know, especially in small communities where local newspapers have either disappeared or greatly lack the resources to file FOIAs themselves.
Thanks to the support of our readers in South Carolina and beyond, The Post and Courier’s investigative and watchdog team can avoid the delays, costs, and roadblocks to accessing records and shed a light on government activity — because it is your right to know.
This effort to question authority, expose wrong-doings, fight injustice, and get to the heart of the issues that matter is central to The Post and Courier Public Service and Investigative Fund’s mission. This is vital work that can’t be done without your support.
How can you help?
To commemorate Sunshine Week, The Post and Courier will raise donations for our Public Service and Investigative Fund through a two-week campaign. This will allow us to continue to bring important and impactful information to the citizens of South Carolina. Make a tax-deductible donation on behalf of our education, climate, and investigative reporting before midnight on the final day of Sunshine Week (Saturday, March 18th).
With your valuable donation, we’re able to submit as many FOIA requests as it takes to ensure South Carolinians are not in the dark.