Editorial: In Michigan, FOIA law needs drastic change

The recent experience of Salem High School journalism student Chris Robbins and the more than $8,000 bill he would face leaves a distinctly chilling effect on the people’s right to know and casts doubt on government’s claims of transparency.

The incident provides an example of the daily grinding away of democracy. It also indicates a problem with the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

Three actions are necessary to ensure government transparency.


Student reporter gets $8,000 FOIA bill from school district

The Freedom Of Information Act is not free – a high school journalist submitted a FOIA request and got a bill for nearly $8,000.

It was a tough lesson for budding journalist Chris Robbins who wasn't going to let that bill stop him from getting the truth.

Robbins didn't think it would be so hard to get the information.

"No, definitely not," he said.