‘Government belongs to us’

The Georgia College Press Association and Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism teamed up to provide concerned citizens, lawmakers, students, and members of the media with insight into government transparency protocols. 'It's important to educate students,' said Jessica Farmer, Coordinator for the Georgia College Press Association.

The event on Oct. 17 had presentations from Jim Zachary, Director of the Transparency Project of Georgia, and Holly Manheimer of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation as well as an afternoon roundtable discussion.

Following an introduction from Zachary, Manhemier began the talks with an overview of open records laws in the state. Manhemier began by explain the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). According to the Department of Justice website, FOIA was passed on July 4, 1966. The act 'provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.' Manheimer would go on to say that those seeking information from their city, county or state would abide by the Open Records Act. Continue>>>