Not a Picayune Problem


How is the changing news media environment and the gradual reshaping of the newspaper business affecting the use and effectiveness of freedom of information requests and other journalistic efforts on behalf of open and accountable government? Who in the media world are the new vanguards of public information advocacy, and what are their motives? New Orleans provides a microcosm of the nationwide trends taking place at the intersection of changing public media and open records. In the Crescent City, The Times-Picayune is transitioning out of daily publication, TV stations are ramping up their coverage teams, new investigative journalism outlets are taking hold and special interest bloggers are trying to make an impact. This panel looks at these developments and measures their impacts on public service.

Panelists include: S.L. (Sherry) Alexander, associate professor; College of Social Sciences, Loyola University New Orleans; Steve Beatty, editor, The Lens; Tod Smith, president & general manager, WWL-TV, Inc.; and James O'Byrne, Director of State Content, | The Times Picayune.

Moderated by: Peter Scheer, executive director, First Amendment Coalition (California).

Speakers' biographies   |   Coverage

The FOI Summit, a national conference concentrating on open government convened anually in collaboration with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), was held Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, at the Renaissance Arts Hotel in New Orleans.

Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana was the state-based co-host for this year’s Summit.

Please visit our 2013 FOI Summit homepage for more information and coverage.