Sunshine Week Partners with Helium to Encourage Citizen Journalists To Write about Open Government and Freedom of Information Issues

Feb. 26, 2008

Washington — Sunshine Week has joined forces with Helium (, a leader in online citizen journalism, to generate discussion about issues that reflect open government and Freedom of Information. The innovative partnership provides Helium members with a platform to write about issues raised by Sunshine Week.

The partnership provides citizen journalists with the opportunity to write about Sunshine Week’s issues, as well as the Sunshine Campaign, which is seeking to get candidates at all levels of office to address open government issues. Today, writers are covering Sunshine Week topics at Helium that include “Has access to government information played a role in your life?” and “How important is government openness to American democracy?”

“Partnering with Helium is a great opportunity for Sunshine Week not only to reach even more of the public, but also to really engage them in discussions about important open government issues,” said David Westphal, ASNE Freedom of Information Committee co-chair and Washington editor of McClatchy Newspapers.

Helium delivers real-world knowledge through citizen journalism. It has a community of more than 100,000 writers, and is quickly becoming one of the richest knowledge resources available online. Helium writers cover more than 85,000 topics that range from politics to pop culture.

Sunshine Week, which will be celebrated March 16-22, 2008, engages people in conversations about open government and why it must be nurtured and protected. A non-partisan, good-government initiative led by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, it is joined by students, the online community, libraries, civic groups, government officials and agencies of all political stripe, non-profits and others.

Sunshine Week articles posted on Helium leverage the site’s fair and trusted peer-review rating. Every article at Helium is sorted for quality in a simple, yet effective A versus B comparison. After many ratings by many people, quality content rises to the top.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Sunshine Week. We truly believe that together, Helium and Sunshine Week can elevate the stature and awareness of citizen journalism, as well as issues that are germane to open government and Freedom of Information,” said Mark Ranalli, president and CEO of Helium.

Writers also have the opportunity to donate their article earnings to Sunshine Week.

Visit Sunshine week at Helium to write, learn and donate

About Helium
Helium connects members with real-world knowledge through citizen journalism. Helium goes beyond search, bringing together real advice from real people on a wide variety of topics. Helium combines citizen journalism with a simple yet highly effective peer-rating process which pushes the best content to the top, whether there are 5 or 500 articles on a topic. Described as “About, Yahoo Answers and Wikipedia all rolled into one,” by Search Engine Journal, Helium is a fun community for people who are passionate about a topic to read, write and rate articles and be rewarded for their efforts. Try it now at

About Sunshine Week
Sunshine Week,, is a non-partisan open government initiative led by ASNE, with online and broadcast media, public officials, celebrities, civic groups, non-profits, libraries, schools, religious leaders and others. It is endowed through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,, which invests in journalism excellence worldwide and the vitality of the 26 communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. It focuses on projects with the potential to create transformational change.