Melony Shemberger has plans for Sunshine Week with session on open government

Dr. Melony Shemberger

Murray State University assistant professor Dr. Melony Shemberger is getting involved in the 2018 Sunshine Week with a special presentation on using Open Meetings and Open Records. Below is an email Melony has sent to colleagues, inviting them to attend as well as promote her Sunshine Week focus.

Dear esteemed colleagues,

Sunshine Week, a national celebration of public access to information, is March 11-17. The American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press organize and promote the week.

To participate, I will present a session anchored on my insights into using sunshine laws (open meetings and open records) at 6 p.m., Monday, March 12 in Wilson Hall, Room 107. A flier is attached. Feel free to share it. Please encourage your students, friends and colleagues to attend. All are welcome. 

For years, I have been on a crusade for improved literacy on sunshine laws. My comprehensive project at Murray State in 2004 discussed the lack of education that public officials receive on sunshine laws, an investigation that led to a series of award-winning news stories. My dissertation in 2011 and subsequent journal articles studied how the journalism curriculum in Tennessee’s colleges and universities failed to keep instructional pace with the state’s rapidly evolving changes in the laws. I plan to do a similar examination of the journalism programs at Kentucky’s four-year postsecondary schools. One of my journalism courses, In-depth Reporting, always has an intense unit on sunshine laws. In fact, we started it last week in advance of local meeting coverage.

Sunshine laws are news-gathering and reporting tools for journalists. Unfortunately, journalists do not use these laws as much as they should. Citizens, too, are impacted greatly by these laws — or a lack of them.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope to see you.

Here is a copy of Melony’s pdf announcing the workshop — Sunshine workshop

Thank you,

Melony A. Shemberger, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications

JMC Undergraduate Program Assessment Coordinator

Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy Fellow, 2017

MSU Provost Faculty Teaching Fellow, 2015-17

Reynolds Center Business Journalism Professors Fellow, 2014

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