Editorial: Decision to release booking photos in Montana was a victory for freedom of information

Despite Montana’s strong public information laws, news organizations in many Montana counties, including Missoula and Butte, have long fought for the public’s right to access the photographs taken of accused criminals when they are booked into jail.

Thanks to a recent district court ruling, that fight has been largely settled. Not surprisingly, public access triumphed.

News media across Montana, including the Missoulian and The Montana Standard, will soon be able to publish booking photos along with relevant crime stories. Booking photos — or “mugshots” in news industry parlance — are important public information. Continue…