Franklin County town, newspaper at odds over cost of records request 7/16/19

A Franklin County town and the local newspaper that covers it are at odds over a public records request.

Town officials estimated The Wake Weekly, a Restoration Newsmedia newspaper, would have to pay a fee of about $70,000 before the town could comply with a public records request the paper made this month.

Legal experts called the fee "insane" and "shocking."

Town officials have since reduced that charge to about $15,000, a price the newspaper says is still too high.

Read more from The Courier-Times.


This open records bill would make Alabama ... better 4/2/19

A new law proposed by state Rep. Chris Pringle and state Sen. Cam Ward would completely overhaul Alabama's open records law – making it enforceable and giving citizens better, cheaper access to their government.

Read this column by Kyle Whitmire, state political columnist for the Alabama Media Group.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wins 2019 Brechner Freedom of Information Award 4/2/19

A team of investigative journalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, whose reporting led the City of Atlanta to overhaul its practices for responding to public-records requests, is the winner of the 2019 Brechner Freedom of Information Award.


Interior Department's response to a FOIA backlog: Tighten access to records 1/8/19

Journalists who regularly use the Freedom of Information Act to get documents about how federal environmental laws are enforced may soon find records harder, and more expensive, to obtain.

Newly proposed regulations would allow the Interior Department to enforce caps on how many requests it will process from frequent FOIA users, make it more difficult for news organizations to justify having their FOIA fees waived, and relax internal deadlines for the agency to act on requests.

Read more from Medium


Brechner Center issues guidelines on informing public about police use of force 6/18/18

Public distrust has been aggravated by recent high-profile cases in which law enforcement agencies have failed to inform the public about police shootings in a timely manner. In response, the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information is issuing guidelines for agencies to consider in informing the public when officers use force.


6 ways to make your FOIA or public records request more effective 10/16/17

With the aid of three FOIA veterans, GateHouse Media's professional development series recently revealed six things journalists should keep in mind when requesting public records in order to make their requests more effective and less likely to be held up or denied.


Reporters Committee launches 'FOIA Wiki' beta 10/4/16

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has launched a beta of the FOIA Wiki, a collaborative and evolving digital resource on the federal Freedom of Information Act. The FOIA Wiki is part legal guide, part community space for sharing information that aims to serve as a central hub on all manner of issues surrounding FOIA as the law celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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