National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Can’t get a public record? Advocate says, ‘Write about it.’

An advocate for open records and open meetings in Tennessee said Tuesday that state and local agencies often broaden protections that don’t apply to them, and citizens and the media should keep them accountable.

Deborah Fisher, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, spoke to local media and East Tennessee State University journalism students on the issue of open records and open meetings laws as part of the agency’s educational program.

“A public record is open for inspection unless a state law says it is not,” Fisher said. Often, people who request open records — and are denied — do not follow through with the additional requirement that government agencies must cite the specific state law that exempts the record. Continue>>>