Monday, May 12, 2008

Notice to Kentucky journalists: Learn how to open government at Sunshine Seminars May 29, June 5

Kentucky’s open-meetings and open-records laws are some of the strongest in the nation, but journalists in the state often don’t take full advantage of them, so they miss stories that their readers need and want. To help reporters and editors at all levels improve their skills at using state and federal freedom of information laws, two Sunshine Seminars have been scheduled, May 29 in Lexington and June 5 in Madisonville.

These workshops are sponsored by the Kentucky Press Association and the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center and the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, both in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky.

The panelists will include leading experts: Jon Fleischaker of the Dinsmore & Shohl law firm, author of the state open-meetings and open-records laws; Amye Bensenhaver, the assistant attorney general who usually handles open-records and open-meetings cases; and veteran Courier-Journal Frankfort Bureau Chief Tom Loftus, who mines campaign-finance data for important stories. Presenters will also include journalists from weekly and daily newspapers, who will tell how they used freedom-of-information laws to keep government open and cover closed court proceedings. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers, and discussions of your own experiences.

The workshops will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, in the Buckner Room of the Herald-Leader and the Country Cupboard Restaurant in Madisonville. Both locations include a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be provided. Registration is $20 per person. Registration deadline for the May 29 seminar in Lexington is Friday, May 23. Registration deadline for the June 5 seminar in Madisonville is Friday, May 30.

Click here for the registration form, complete it and return it to KPA by the applicable deadline date. If paying by credit card, fax the registration form to KPA at 502-226-3867. If paying by check, mail the form and a check for $20 per person to: Sunshine Seminars, Kentucky Press Association, 101 Consumer Lane, Frankfort KY 40601.

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