BC-US--Sunshine Week,ADVISORY, US

Editors/News directors, this advisory updates the digest lines and the timing to note that the stories, photos and column have moved in advance:


Holding those in power to account is at the heart of the free press in America. It also has become more challenging amid the explosion of social media, attacks on journalism and shifting social norms. This is the topic explored in this year's coverage for Sunshine Week, which begins Sunday.

The American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2005 launched the first national Sunshine Week, a celebration of access to public information that has been held every year since to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution and a key advocate of the Bill of Rights. This year, ASNE (now the American Society of News Editors), The Associated Press and Associated Press Media Editors are marking the occasion with a package that examines some of the new challenges confronting traditional journalism.

The following stories moved in advance on Wednesday, under embargo for use in print editions of Sunday and thereafter. They will move live at 3:01 a.m. Eastern Sunday. Note that the release date of the video graphic has not yet been scheduled.

For questions, contact AP state government team editor Tom Verdin at



The main events in a political campaign used to happen in the open: a debate, the release of a major TV ad or a public event where candidates tried to earn a spot on the evening news or the next day's front page. That was before the explosion of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as political platforms. Now some of a campaign's most pivotal efforts happen in the often-murky world of social media, where ads can be targeted to ever-narrower slices of the electorate and run continuously with no disclosure of who is paying for them. Reporters cannot easily discern what voters are seeing, and hoaxes and forgeries spread instantaneously. Journalists trying to hold candidates accountable have a hard time keeping up. By Nicholas Riccardi/AP. 900. Photos.



An Idaho lawmaker urges her constituents to send in submissions for her "fake news awards" during the legislative session. The Kentucky governor tweets #fakenews to dismiss questions about his unusual home purchase from a top campaign donor. A campaign aide for the Texas land commissioner uses the phrase to play down the significance of his boss receiving major donations from employees of a company that landed a multi-million-dollar contract. President Trump's campaign to discredit the news media and dismiss critical reporting has spread throughout the political landscape. Officials at all levels of government are now using the term "fake news" as a weapon against unflattering stories and information that can tarnish their images. Observers say the trend could be damaging long-term by blurring the line between fact and fiction, sowing confusion among the electorate and allowing voters to decide which facts to believe and which to ignore. By Ryan J. Foley/AP. 900 words. Photos.



Awarding a grade to a concept like press freedom might seem like an impossible task, but here at the First Amendment Center we give it our best shot. In April of last year, we began compiling quarterly First Amendment report cards, relying on a panel of 15 experts from across the political spectrum - academics, activists, journalists and lawyers - to evaluate the state of each of our core freedoms. In our latest report card, which came out in January, freedom of the press earned a C grade, making it the most delinquent of the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment. By Lata Nott, executive director. 590 words. Photo.



A video graphic explaining how a news story gets reported and edited. How do journalists decide which stories to pursue, how are they reported, how are they vetted and edited? By AP. Release date not yet scheduled.


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