"Letting the Sunshine IN" workshop on March 17

Journalists and members of the public are invited to a free daylong Freedom of Information workshop in Indianapolis on March 17.

 “Letting the Sunshine IN: An Open Data and Open Government Workshop,” is open to anyone interested in open government and open data, including journalists, civic activists and neighborhood association members. The Indiana Pro Chapter is co-sponsoring the event along with The Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies at Indiana University and the Indiana Coalition for Open Government.

The workshop will be held during Sunshine Week, an annual national observance that highlights the importance of open government. Sessions will be in the ballroom of University Tower, 911 W. North St., on the IUPUI campus.

Confirmed speakers at the conference include state, regional and national journalists and open government advocates, who will participate in informational sessions about state and national access laws.

The workshop will close with a hands-on session on how to request data and metadata from public agencies. Experts will guide attendees in submitting actual requests to state agencies for information about their data sets.

Workshop co-organizer Gerry Lanosga, an assistant professor at IU’s Media School and a longtime SPJ chapter member, said a workshop goal is to launch an open online catalog of state data sets.

“We know that one of the key barriers to opening public data is lack of knowledge about the range of data that state agencies maintain,” he said. “This effort will go a long way to eliminating the unknowns about state data sets and make it easier for journalists and others in the public to request them.”

The workshop is made possible by a gift from IU journalism alumna Barbara Restle. Although there is no charge to attend the workshop, attendance is limited and advance registration is required. To pre-register, go to http://mediaschool.indiana.edu/letting-the-sunshine-in-registration-form/

The registration deadline is 5 p.m. EDT March 12.

For a full schedule of planned sessions and other details: http://mediaschool.indiana.edu/news/iu-spj-icog-offer-free-daylong-workshop-on-open-data-government/