APME-Sunshine Week advisory
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Posted by: Laura Sellers-Earl
Holding those in power to account is at the heart of the free press in America. It also has become more challenging amid the explosion of social media, attacks on journalism and shifting social norms. This is the topic explored in this year’s coverage for Sunshine Week, which begins March 11.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2005 launched the first national Sunshine Week, a celebration of access to public information that has been held every year since to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution and a key advocate of the Bill of Rights. This year, ASNE (now the American Society of News Editors), The Associated Press and Associated Press Media Editors are marking the occasion with a package that examines some of the new challenges confronting traditional journalism.
The following stories will move in advance next week, under embargo for use in print editions of Sunday, March 11, and thereafter. They will move live at 3:01 a.m. Eastern on March 11.
For questions, contact AP state government team editor Tom Verdin at email@example.com.
SUNSHINE WEEK-ELECTION DECEPTION
Reporters covering election campaigns have always been wary of the “October Surprise,” a bombshell revelation that hits just before the election. Today, they have a lot more to be concerned about. The rise of social media as a forum for spreading phony news, the lack of transparency surrounding online ads and posts, coordinated disinformation campaigns and Russian interference in the country’s elections are creating new perils for the news media during an already unstable time. By Nicholas Riccardi/AP. About 1,000 words. Photos.
SUNSHINE WEEK-WHO TO BELIEVE
An Idaho lawmaker urges her constituents to send in submissions for her “fake news awards” during the legislative session. The Kentucky governor tweets #fakenews to dismiss questions about his unusual home purchase from a top campaign donor. A campaign aide for the Texas land commissioner uses the phrase to play down the significance of his boss receiving major donations from employees of a company that landed a multi-million-dollar contract. President Trump’s campaign to discredit the news media and dismiss critical reporting has spread throughout the political landscape. Officials at all levels of government are now using the term “fake news” as a weapon against unflattering stories and information that can tarnish their images. Observers say the trend could be damaging long-term by blurring the line between fact and fiction, sowing confusion among the electorate and allowing voters to decide which facts to believe and which to ignore. By Ryan J. Foley/AP. 900 words. Photos.
SUNSHINE WEEK-FIRST AMENDMENT
The state of press freedoms in the U.S., based on an annual survey by the Newseum’s First Amendment Center. By Lata Nott, executive director.
SUNSHINE WEEK-ANATOMY OF A NEWS STORY
A video graphic explaining how a news story gets reported and edited. How do journalists decide which stories to pursue, how are they reported, how are they vetted and edited? By AP.
National Editor/State Government Team