N.C. A&T Hosts Sunshine Day 2020 to Discuss Government Transparency

By Jamie Crockett / 03/10/2020 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (March 10, 2020) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University hosted approximately 100 attendees for Sunshine Day on March 9. Journalists, government officials, attorneys, students and members of the public gathered to discuss government openness and transparency issues facing North Carolina citizens.

“This event is really interdisciplinary in nature as there are participants from law enforcement and journalism who all have something interesting to say about transparency,” said Brooks Fuller, director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition at Elon University. “It’s important to have voices from different areas of expertise so that we are all exposed to, and learn from, various perspectives.”This is a photo of Brooks Fuller

The coalition partnered with The A&T Register and the campus chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists to present Sunshine Day as part of the nationwide Sunshine Week annual celebration encouraging a greater understanding of the latest developments in access to public information.

The event kicked off with an overview of the Sunshine Week Reporting Project, which aimed to discover the level of transparency courts across the state exhibited in sealed search warrants and secret civil defendants. Twelve newsrooms participated in a three-pronged approach, revealing a lack of standardized processes as well as varying degrees of cooperation when surveying county clerks of court and requesting records from district attorneys.

Chris Brook, a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, served as the event’s keynote speaker and discussed his career experiences with transparency, specifically focusing on the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the Census citizenship inquiry as a case study.

The day-long program also included panel discussions on the future of open data, accessing police dashboard and body-camera footage and issues related to covering political events ahead of the Republican National Convention and general election. The breakout sessions covered accessing public records and best practices surrounding various legal issues.

The coalition also announced the Sixth Annual Sunshine Awards recipients, honoring journalists, public servants and citizens and their work to increase government transparency.


Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

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