Thanks to Brenda Blagg, FOI defender par excellence, for sending this reminder:
The national Sunshine Week organization is repeating the “Local Heroes Contest” conducted first in 2010. Sunshine Week is intended to call attention to the freedom of information and help to undergird “sunshine laws” throughout the country, including the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Last year, Arkansas candidates who might have won the national “Local Heroes” competition didn’t have the chance because their editors and others did not nominate them. The deadline is Friday, so think about your community’s FOI heroes and please submit nominations for this year’s contest.
Check this link for details on the “Local Heroes” contest, including information about last year’s winners and interviews with them: http://www.sunshineweek.org/LocalHeroes.aspx
The nomination form is here: http://www.sunshineweek.org/LocalHeroes/LocalHeroNomination.aspx
You still have time to honor someone on your staff or in your community who has been a local hero in the never-ending battle for freedom of information. Just open the nomination form, fill it out and submit it online. I would appreciate your sending me a copy so I can provide a collective listing of Arkansas nominees for release here in the state.
Please plan to participate, too, with news reports, editorials, columns and cartoons during Sunshine Week, which will be March 13 -19. You can find a useful “toolkit” and many examples of past efforts at www.sunshineweek.org. Also, I’d like to see what you plan, especially if you have original cartoons or other material you would be willing to share with other publications. I’ll send another request for those nearer to Sunshine Week and I will again provide a personal column for use by any of you.
Columnist, Northwest Arkansas Media
Northwest Arkansas Times
Springdale Morning News
Rogers Morning News
Bentonville Daily Record