Ann Arbor Residents Submitted More Freedom of Information Act Requests Than Local News Media in 2013

According to the City of Ann Arbor’s log of FOIA requests submitted between January 2013 and May 2014 519 FOIA requests were submitted to the Ann Arbor City Clerk’s office. Thirty-three of the 519 requests came from The Ann Arbor News and the online news site The A2Indy, launched in October 2013, filed five requests. The Ann Arbor Observer filed no FOIA requests. Fewer than a dozen FOIA requests came from local bloggers. Former lead blogger Ed Vielmetti is one of those local writers.

The Columbia Journalism Review reported in a September 2013 story about the shuttering of and the rebranding of The Ann Arbor News: “To fill that gap, a host of locals have themselves become self-styled news ‘organizations’—like Julie Weatherbee, who has become known for live-tweeting city council meetings twice a month, as well as other local events.

FOIA“Edward Vielmetti is a longtime Ann Arbor blogger and Arborwiki editor who, for about 18 months, was lead blogger for (His position was cut during an earlier round of reorganization and shrinking.) Vielmetti, on his own initiative, leveraged his strong network and became a go-to source of local news. People ‘feed me information, either directly via email or via @ messages on Twitter,’ he wrote via email.” Continue>>>