The Sunshine Seminar, a refresher course on Kentucky open-records and open-meetings laws, is being offered at Morehead on Friday, Sept. 18 for journalists but is open to anyone interested in freedom-of-information issues.
The course is jointly sponsored and run by the Kentucky Press Association, the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center (both part of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications). It will cover such issues as how to use the laws, how to appeal to the attorney general, how to deal with judges and other court officials who try to close court proceedings, and using federal and state campaign-finance records to do election stories. Journalists will share success stories and discuss their experiences on the open-government front.
The seminar will be held at the downtown Morehead Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the $20 fee will include lunch.
Here’s the detailed schedule:
9:00 The importance of open records, open meetings and open courts and journalists’ role: Al Cross, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
9:15 History of state FOI laws; how to file open-records requests and appeals; how to keep meetings and courts open: Ashley Pack, Dinsmore & Shohl law firm, KPA attorney-lobbyist
10:30 Dealing with the Office of the Attorney General: Amye Bensenhaver, assistant attorney general and veteran decision writer
12:45 Success stories: How we used freedom-of-information laws and reporting techniques to keep local government open to the sunshine: Carrie Stambaugh, The Independent, Ashland, and others
2:15 Using campaign-finance records in coverage of elections: Tom Loftus, Frankfort Bureau chief, The Courier-Journal
3:30 Records you can and should publish in your newspaper: Al Cross, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
This seminar will help you do a better job of keeping government open and accountable. Please register today: http://www.uky.edu/comminfostudies/irjci/SunshineEast09reg.pdf.