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Journalists Seek 'Sunshine'

In the face of increasing government pursuit of journalistic sources and its withholding of information under the invocation of national security, journalistic organizations including the Associated Press and the Radio-Television News Directors Association are calling for a "Sunshine in Government" week March 13 for a national dialogue on maintaining access to government information.

The call comes a day after broadcast reporter Jim Taricani was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to reveal the source of an FBI tape that helped expose local government corruption in Providence, R.I.

Radio-Television News Directors Association  President Barbara Cochran; AP President Tom Curley, and others are planning a conference call Dec. 14 to outline their plans. RTNDA says that more than 50 news organizations have joined the steering committee.

"Because of increasing government secrecy, public information is being denied to citizens who have not only a right to know, but also a need to know," said RTNDA. "The first-ever national Sunshine Sunday-Sunshine Week encourages print, broadcast and online media to address open-government issues the week of March 13, 2005, through news coverage, editorials, commentaries, editorial cartoons and more. "