In Celebration of Sunshine Week and National FOI Day, The First Amendment Foundation and The Poynter Institute Launch the Sunshine Certificate

Mar 16, 2016, 15:07 ET from The Poynter Institute

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To commemorate Sunshine Week and today's celebration of National Freedom of Information Day, the First Amendment Foundation and The Poynter Institute have launched a new online "Sunshine Certificate" to help educate elected officials, attorneys, journalists and citizens on open government laws.

The online "Sunshine Certificate" programs combine the best of the First Amendment Foundation's training with the flexibility of online learning. Florida public officials, attorneys, journalists and citizens are able to choose the training that meets their needs.

  • The Florida Public Officers and Staff certificate meets the open government training required by Florida law.
  • The Florida Attorneys program offers 14.5 CLEs, including 5 ethics hours.
  • The Journalists and Citizens program offers a series of three courses on the Sunshine Law. Journalists and citizens can choose to take the courses individually or purchase all three for a discounted price.

"I'm thrilled to be working closely with the First Amendment Foundation, which for more than three decades has been a champion for government in the sunshine in Florida," said Poynter President Tim Franklin.

Dave Wilson, chairman of the Foundation's board of trustees, said, "The First Amendment Foundation is delighted to have found a strong partner in The Poynter Institute to help further our core mission of preserving open government in Florida through information and education. Keeping our government in the sunshine is important to all Floridians."

About the First Amendment Foundation
The Florida First Amendment Foundation has been the state's principal advocate for open government for three decades, monitoring proposed legislation and the implementation of public records and open meetings laws. In that role, it has helped keep Florida in the Sunshine, aiding the media in their watchdog role, enabling citizens and civic groups to become more effective participants in their government, and providing training to public officials charged with execution of those laws. Its leadership in the fight for open government has been recognized not just in Florida but at the national and international levels. The Foundation's website,, offers a Freedom of Information hotline to answer questions about Sunshine Law, produces coverage of news about open government, and also offers resources to those seeking to learn more about public records and Sunshine Law.

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University,, offers the world's largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute's website,, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world's top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

Rachel Gelbmann
Marketing, Membership & Development Director
First Amendment Foundation

Tina Dyakon
Director of Advertising and Marketing
The Poynter Institute

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SOURCE The Poynter Institute