Sunshine Week, started in 2005 to raise public awareness about open-government issues, is likely to lose its full-time coordinator, Columbia Journalism Review reported. Debra Gersh Hernandez, who works as the Sunshine Week outside contractor for the American Society of News Editors, predicts that she will lose her job by the end of the month. The ASNE executive director says the work will be assigned to a staffer, who will oversee Sunshine Week part time. The Knight Foundation, which originally funded the program, had reduced its funding and agreed to host a "matching funds drive with ASNE, aimed at providing a $6 million-plus endowment for the organization." The fundraising effort proved unsuccessful; ASNE raised only $471,600 of the anticipated $2.5 million, according to early May figures.
In case you haven’t heard, it’s tough times out there for newspapers: Jobs are disappearing, pages are shrinking, bureaus are closing. Here’s one more casualty for the count: unless some unexpected funding comes through, Sunshine Week, the annual nationwide media event designed to draw attention to open government issues, will soon go without a full-time coordinator.
According to Debra Gersh Hernandez, who works as the Sunshine Week outside contractor for the American Society of News Editors, she will likely be without a job by the end of the month.
“We’re still going to do Sunshine Week,” promises Scott Bosley, the executive director of the ASNE. Bosley says the organization will transfer the workload to an in-house staffer, who will plan the event on a part time basis.