Blogshine Sunday pushes for government sunshine online

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Thursday, March 10, 2005 Blogshine Sunday, a national effort among webloggers to publicize the importance of open access to government information is scheduled to take place on March 13, 2005.

Logo for Blogshine Sunday

On that day, will organize web-based writers to relate their experiences and thoughts on open-access to governmental records and freely available public information. Webloggers will be encouraged to highlight the need to have public records available in electronic formats to facilitate easier searching of information and more widespread access. Another goal of Blogshine Sunday is to emphasize that open access to governmental information should be granted to everyone, unpaid reporters and bloggers as well as professional journalists.

Recently, bloggers have played an important role in shaping public opinion about issues that were initially overlooked by traditional media. blogger Harry W. MacDougald was the first to scrutinize documents that suggested that President Bush was derelict in his military service in the 1970s. CBS News reported on the documents as if they were legitimate, but MacDougald discovered that the documents used a typestyle that was not available at the time they were supposedly written. Following MacDougald’s blog posts questioning the documents, CBS said that they regretted reporting on the documents as though they were authentic. Since bloggers are generally unpaid and do not have the editorial restrictions of professional journalists, as the MacDougald example illustrates, they are sometimes better able to research and report on issues not covered by traditional media.

Blogshine Sunday is held in conjunction with Sunshine Sunday, when professional journalists and news media will publish articles and editorials on the importance of the open records. was started last April by two college students in an effort to show that technology can better facilitate public affairs involvement. More information on Blogshine Sunday can be found at: