Media companies begin appeal of N.J. public records ruling

New Jersey's largest newspapers and some of the biggest U.S. media companies are challenging a 2013 ruling by a Bergen County judge that they say gives government agencies in New Jersey unprecedented power to deny requests for public records.

Experts call it one of the most consequential legal battles involving privacy rights and government transparency New Jersey has seen in years. A state appeals court heard oral arguments for nearly two hours Tuesday.

The case began when a reporter for North Jersey Media Group, which owns The Record and 49 community newspapers, requested a range of documents and recordings in 2013 that would be kept on file at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. Continue…