Exemptions to records laws allow authorities to stifle talk of police reform, paper says

Exemptions to state public records laws allow police departments to conceal vast amounts of information and stifle meaningful discussion about police reform and accountability. According to a Washington Post analysis: All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow police departments to withhold records they consider investigatory. And in 35 states, police misconduct records are…

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Frosty Landon, NFOIC Hall of Famer, remembered for ‘heroic’ efforts to promote open government, establish state coalitions

Frosty Landon, a one-time president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition board who was instrumental in advising new NFOIC coalitions in the 2000s, is being remembered as a hero and advocate for open government. Landon died July 19, 2021, at age 87. Landon, longtime editor of the Roanoke Times & World-News in Virginia, was…

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NFOIC supports Puerto Rico coalition in brief calling for financial board transparency

The National Freedom of Information Coalition’s Puerto Rico affiliate, Espacios Abiertos, filed an amici brief in a public records appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  In solidarity with Espacios Abiertos, the NFOIC, the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and the Nevada Open Government Coalition also signed the brief.  The…

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Study examines: Does a state constitutional right to know make a difference?

State constitutional rights guaranteeing access to information can’t hurt, and may help, when judges balance the interests of disclosure and privacy.  But there’s little evidence that a constitutional right to access produces better results directly for requesters. That’s, in part, because many variables influence the outcome of a request, particularly the state’s political culture.  Those…

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Knight FOI Fund provides ‘meaningful vote of support’ to California man seeking Marine emails

By Todd FettigNFOIC outreach coordinator For six years, Dennis Buckovetz worked alone, from the back bedroom of his house, uncovering the details of possible wrongdoing at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.  Buckovetz, who served in the Vietnam War as a Marine, was working as administrative director of Marine Corps Community Services at…

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Texas city violates Open Meetings Act in session to teach … Open Meetings Act

An Odessa, Texas, “workshop” on the state’s Open Meetings Act was itself a violation of the Open Meetings Act, experts said. Alan J. Bojorquez, an Austin-based attorney who lead the workshop, said the meeting was exempt because it was for informational purposes, the Odessa American reported. Bojorquez also claimed it was a private meeting because…

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Nevada coalition, one of NFOIC’s newest members, is applauded for advocacy

The Nevada Press Association is applauding the efforts of the Nevada Open Government Coalition, one of the newest members of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. The Nevada Open Government Coalition “had a significant impact” in the 2021 session of the Nevada Legislature. The coalition and the press association advocated for amendments that removed a…

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Coalition leads project seeking records related to university’s hiring of Nikole Hannah-Jones

The North Carolina Open Government Coalition is leading a project to educate the public and encourage collaboration among journalists covering the University of North Carolina. The coalition, partnering with journalists, professors and nonprofit organizations, filed eight requests with the university, seeking records related to the hiring of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones as the Knight…

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University is not above the law, should honor transparency, Oklahoma coalition leader says

The executive director of Freedom of Information Oklahoma is calling on the University of Oklahoma to be more transparent after the school refused to release reports regarding donor data and allegations of sexual misconduct by a former university president. “The University of Oklahoma has neither the responsibility nor the right to determine what is in…

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Dozens of groups, including NFOIC, urge Congress to reject Pentagon’s request for secrecy

The National Freedom of Information Coalition and 44 other organizations signed a letter opposing the Department of Defense’s proposal to alter the Freedom of Information Act. The letter, written by the Project On Government Oversight, was addressed to leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. “The Pentagon’s proposed language…

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