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Sunshine Week with TVW

The week of March 13 – 19, 2022 is Sunshine Week, a national celebration of the importance of access to public information. On this page you will find resources that highlight the work TVW is doing to open state government to everyone.

In Washington, we celebrate our Public Records Act, created by Citizen’s Initiative 278 in 1972, and designed to “shine a light” on state and local governments.

For more than 25 years, TVW has provided the public with a front-row seat to everything from legislative proceedings to Supreme Court deliberations. But that access has perhaps never been so vital as it has been during the past two years.

TVW consistently delivers nonpartisan, gavel-to-gavel coverage of state government activities, allowing the public to view and judge for themselves what really happens in our three branches of state government. When the pandemic shut down public access to state government, it dramatically underscored the importance of public affairs programming and the work of TVW as a lens on state government.

Renee Radcliff Sinclair, President and CEO of TVW.


Sunshine Week 2022

3/13/22 – Tri-City Herald: Opinion – Renee Radcliff Sinclair: National Sunshine Week highlights the importance of transparency, open government

3/13/22 – Everett Herald: Commentary – Renee Radcliff Sinclair: More “sunshine” can help trust in government thrive

3/13/22 – Seattle Times: Renee Radcliff Sinclair and Whitney Keyes: Rebuild our trust in public institutions

3/14/22 – TVW Board of Director’s Chair, Carl Gipson Introduces Sunshine Week

3/17/22 – Austin Jenkins interviews Essex Porter, KIRO TV’s veteran state government reporter, about the role of the media in government transparency on Inside Olympia.

3/18/22 – Washington Coalition for Open Government – “Sunshine Breakfast”

Press Release (pdf)

TVW Celebrates National Sunshine Week
Public affairs network continues to shed ‘digital sunlight’ on state government

OLYMPIA — March 14, 2022 —  This March 13-19, TVW, Washington’s public affairs network, will mark National Sunshine Week the way it always does: with unfiltered access to state government.

The weeklong initiative of the News Leaders Association (formerly the American Society of News Editors), is intended to promote open government and celebrate access to public information, ideals at the core of TVW’s mission.

Now in its 27th year, TVW is the go-to online resource for anyone engaged in state government and political affairs. The network can be accessed through a variety of methods, including online, through local cable systems, or on Roku, proving even more vital during COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, TVW has provided the only access available to the Legislature, including all legislative committee hearings, floor action and press availabilities for the House, Senate, Democrats, Republicans and the governor.

“TVW has been a lifeline for the public throughout COVID-19, preserving the ideals of transparency and open government. Even when state government was closed to the public, TVW was there to provide a lens on proceedings,” said TVW President & CEO Renee Radcliff Sinclair. “Under normal circumstances, the public has good access to Olympia and the legislative process through in-person testimony and meetings with lawmakers. But there are still decisions that occur in private, without public oversight. We are proud to provide the public with that transparency, and to continue shining our own form of digital sunlight on state government long after the pandemic,” she said.

“From legislative debates to candidate debates, TVW provides a unique lens on the world of state government because it offers an unfiltered view of proceedings, no matter where you may be located geographically,” she said. “We bring state government to the people, and that matters more and more in today’s world, where trust in government and media continues to wane.” 

Research suggests our level of trust in public institutions – the media and government – continues to spiral downward. According to the 2022 Edelman Barometer, one in two respondents said they view government (48%) and media (46%) as divisive forces in society. Less than half of respondents said they trust government leaders (42%) and journalists (46%).

Some 64% of respondents said it’s now to a point where people are incapable of having constructive and civil debates about issues they disagree on.

“Public affairs programming and access to public meetings never been more vital to the health of our democracy. Giving people unbiased access to their elected officials is one of the best ways to ensure people are engaged in government,” added Sinclair.

During Sunshine Week, TVW will feature a special March 17 edition of “Inside Olympia,” the state’s longest running public affairs program. Host Austin Jenkins will interview Essex Porter, KIRO TV’s veteran state government reporter, about the role of the media in government transparency. Porter is retiring this after more than 40 years in journalism (39 of which at KIRO TV).

“TVW consistently delivers nonpartisan, gavel-to-gavel coverage of state government activities for the public to view and judge for themselves,” said Sinclair. “Every week is Sunshine Week for TVW because open government is central to everything we do.”

Sunshine Week 2021

3/19/21 – TVW: Your Window into State Government – Guest Opinion

3/17/21 – The Columbian: In Our View: Transparent government is good government

3/17/21 – Spokane Public Radio: TVW Brings Business of Olympia Into Washington Citizens’ Homes

3/17/21 – KGY Radio Interview with TVW President

3/16/21 – KONP News Radio Interview with TVW’s President

3/14/21 – The Seattle Times: In ‘infodemic,’ TVW to rescue covering Washington state government

3/13/21 – The Wenatchee World: Opinion – Renee Radcliff Sinclair: TVW: Your window into state government

3/12/21 – The Everett Herald: Comment: during Covid, TVW has been a window into government

3/8/21 – The Courier Herald: TVW is an antidote for dwindling trust in media – Don Brunell

Press Release

TVW Shines Bright During 2021 Sunshine Week

Washington’s public affairs network is more vital than ever during pandemic

OLYMPIA — March 15, 2021 — TVW, Washington state’s public affairs network, is celebrating Open Government or “Sunshine Week” this week by doing what it does best: shining a light on the proceedings of state government.

For more than 25 years, TVW has provided the public with a front-row seat to everything from legislative proceedings to Supreme Court deliberations. But that access has perhaps never been so vital as it has in the past 12 months during COVD-19.

“TVW consistently delivers nonpartisan, gavel-to-gavel coverage of state government activities, allowing the public to view and judge for themselves what really happens in our three branches of state government. When the pandemic shut down public access to state government, it dramatically underscored the importance of public affairs programming and the work of TVW as a lens on state government,” said Renee Radcliff Sinclair, president and CEO of TVW.

“During a normal legislative session, the public has good access to Olympia and the legislative process through in-person testimony and meetings with lawmakers. Even so, some decisions are in private, without public oversight,” she said. “Now, with COVID-19, the challenge is even steeper with an all-remote Legislature and no in-person meetings or public engagement, jeopardizing the very idea of ‘public’ meetings.”

In fact, TVW offers the only access available to the Legislature this session. This includes all legislative committee hearings, floor action and press availabilities for the House, Senate, Democrats, Republicans and the governor.  The full winter docket for the Washington State Supreme Court is also available, as well as oral arguments before Washington’s three courts of appeals. The network also provides archived video content from previous year’s legislative sessions, Supreme Court sessions, state agencies and more.

Launched in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors (now the News Leaders Association), Sunshine Week is an initiative to promote open government and celebrate access to public information. This year, Sunshine Week is being celebrated March 14-20.

To mark Sunshine Week, TVW will feature:

  • Interviews with reporter Jim Camden of The Spokesman-Review and Court of Appeals Judge Marlin Appelwick on the impact of cameras in the state supreme court and Legislature. The interviews will air as a part of “The Impact with Mike McClanahan” at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17.
  • A conversation with UW Associate Professor Kate Starbird on the Thursday, March 18 episode of “Inside Olympia with Austin Jenkins.” The interview will air at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. that day.

“COVID-19 has pulled back the curtain on many aspects of our daily lives, exposing societal inequalities and raising public policy questions we expect our elected officials to address. This ‘sunshine‘ is at the very core of democracy and open government,” added Sinclair. “Absent resources like TVW, these conversations in our state would be taking place offline, out of the view of the public.”

TVW can be accessed through a variety of methods, including online, through local cable systems, via the mobile app, or on Roku.

Sunshine Week 2020

3/26/20 – The Lens: TVW marks silver anniversary of “gavel-to-gavel” legislative coverage

3/25/20 – The Olympian: TVW celebrates 25 years of providing unfiltered access to state government

3/20/20 – The Everett Herald: Editorial: TVW marks 25 years as window into state government

3/18/20 – The Daily News: This Sunshine Week, be thankful for TVW

3/17/20 – The Columbian: In Our View: This type of sunshine is a powerful disinfectant

3/16/20 – The Tri-City Herald: Sunshine Week Celebrates Your Right to Know, Guest Opinion

3/15/20 – The Seattle Times: This Sunshine Week, be thankful for TVW

2/24/20 – The Washington State Wire: Q&A: TVW President Renee Radcliff Sinclair on the network’s past, present and Future

TVW Shines Bright During 2021 Sunshine Week

Washington’s public affairs network is more vital than ever during pandemic

OLYMPIA — March 15, 2021 — TVW, Washington state’s public affairs network, is celebrating Open Government or “Sunshine Week” this week by doing what it does best: shining a light on the proceedings of state government.

For more than 25 years, TVW has provided the public with a front-row seat to everything from legislative proceedings to Supreme Court deliberations. But that access has perhaps never been so vital as it has in the past 12 months during COVD-19.

“TVW consistently delivers nonpartisan, gavel-to-gavel coverage of state government activities, allowing the public to view and judge for themselves what really happens in our three branches of state government. When the pandemic shut down public access to state government, it dramatically underscored the importance of public affairs programming and the work of TVW as a lens on state government,” said Renee Radcliff Sinclair, president and CEO of TVW.

“During a normal legislative session, the public has good access to Olympia and the legislative process through in-person testimony and meetings with lawmakers. Even so, some decisions are in private, without public oversight,” she said. “Now, with COVID-19, the challenge is even steeper with an all-remote Legislature and no in-person meetings or public engagement, jeopardizing the very idea of ‘public’ meetings.”

In fact, TVW offers the only access available to the Legislature this session. This includes all legislative committee hearings, floor action and press availabilities for the House, Senate, Democrats, Republicans and the governor.  The full winter docket for the Washington State Supreme Court is also available, as well as oral arguments before Washington’s three courts of appeals. The network also provides archived video content from previous year’s legislative sessions, Supreme Court sessions, state agencies and more.

Launched in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors (now the News Leaders Association), Sunshine Week is an initiative to promote open government and celebrate access to public information. This year, Sunshine Week is being celebrated March 14-20.

To mark Sunshine Week, TVW will feature:

  • Interviews with reporter Jim Camden of The Spokesman-Review and Court of Appeals Judge Marlin Appelwick on the impact of cameras in the state supreme court and Legislature. The interviews will air as a part of “The Impact with Mike McClanahan” at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17.
  • A conversation with UW Associate Professor Kate Starbird on the Thursday, March 18 episode of “Inside Olympia with Austin Jenkins.” The interview will air at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. that day.

“COVID-19 has pulled back the curtain on many aspects of our daily lives, exposing societal inequalities and raising public policy questions we expect our elected officials to address. This ‘sunshine‘ is at the very core of democracy and open government,” added Sinclair. “Absent resources like TVW, these conversations in our state would be taking place offline, out of the view of the public.”

TVW can be accessed through a variety of methods, including online, through local cable systems, via the mobile app, or on Roku.

TVW Testimonials:

The Hon. Ralph Munro, Secretary of State, 1980-2000

Rowland Thompson, Executive Director, Allied Daily Newspapers of WA

Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research, Washington Policy Center

Misha Werschkul, Executive Director, Washington State Budget & Policy Center

Mauri Moore Shuler, Former NBC Bureau Chief in Tel Aviv, Israel

The Hon. Lynn Kessler, State Representative, 24th District, 1993-2010

The Hon. Karen Fraser, State Senator, 22nd District, 1993-2016

The Hon. Gerry Alexander, Justice, Washington State Supreme Court, 1994-2011

David Zeeck, President & Publisher, Tacoma News Tribune, 2008-2018

Dr. Antonio Sanchez, Director, Intergovernmental & International Relations, CWU

Find more on the National Sunshine Week activities online here.