Let the Sunshine In: How Much Do You Know About the Sunshine Act?

Quiz your freedom of information and sunshine knowledge online.

Are you smarter than a journalist?

As part of Sunshine Week, which starts on Sunday and goes through March 17, try testing your freedom of information knowledge online.

The Sunshine Week organization has a game for you to "learn about why open government and freedom of information in the U.S. is to be cherished and held to high standards."

The interactive Ray of Sunshine game gives players a reward at the end, allowing you to brag about your success on Facebook and Twitter.

In the spirit of transparency and openness, I took the interactive quiz and was given the "You're a Ray of Sunshine" award by Sunshine Week.

Understanding the Freedom of Information Act will get you only so far, however, when you are on a quest for information. You also need to be familiar with the Missouri Sunshine Law for anything regarding state or local governments.

The state attorney general's office also has an online quiz to test your knowledge.

On this test I correctly answered 10 out of 11 multiple-choice questions.

If you want to brush up on your knowledge before taking the quizzes, Sunshine Week provides resources about freedom of information online. The attorney general's office also provides sunshine law information, including a summary of the law, court decisions and a sample sunshine request form.

In addition to taking the quizzes, I challenge you to get involved by filing a freedom of information or sunshine request, or attend a public meeting. I would love to hear how everything turns out.

And if you dig up anything newsworthy, feel free to contact me anytime.

(One other transparency note: I’m scheduled to be on vacation during Sunshine Week. However, I will be attending a sunshine workshop by the Attorney General's Office in Jefferson City on Friday.)

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missourijournal.com, (314) 482-7944

Hook is editor of Missouri Journal, which tracks the economy across the Show-Me State

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kim March 15, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Thanks Brian - I just might take you up on your offer!
Kim March 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I agree with Eileen - why not have an online database where all documents that are open to the public can be posted and easily searched? I realize this would take time and money, but in UCity at least we have been hiring a bevy of consultants lately - why not spend some $ on a part-time clerk to oversee freedom of information?
gram Hollund March 15, 2012 at 07:04 PM
The Saint Louis city police department was sued sucessfully . It was argued that electronic inspection should be free and only paper copies could be charged for with respect to incident reports / accident reports. Cause NO. 1022-CC10551 division no. 31 22nd Judicial court.
Brian R. Hook March 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM
University City is one of many listed in a recent state audit. http://auditor.mo.gov/Press/2012-19.pdf And here is a link to more info regarding governmental bodies & records: http://ago.mo.gov/sunshinelaw/chapter610.htm
Brian R. Hook March 24, 2012 at 06:36 PM
No. - BRH


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