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Donald Trump calls for harsher libel laws at campaign rally

Donald Trump continued his crusade against the press Friday afternoon, saying he wants to "open up" libel laws to enable easier retribution against journalists. The remarks came during a campaign rally in Fort Worth, Texas, where Trump abused both The Washington Post and The New York Times and darkly suggested The Post would "have problems" under a Trump … Read More
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Washington Post bureau chief caught and released in Israel

William Booth, the Jerusalem bureau chief for The Washington Post, was briefly detained by Israeli authorities while conducting interviews. He was held up for about 30 minutes. The brush with police came just weeks after Jason Rezaian, the Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post, was released after more than a year of imprisonment.

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Protecting student journalism nationwide

The rash of student media advisers who've been fired, combined with censorship of student newspapers, has prompted the Student Press Law Center to call for legislation ensuring trainee journalists the right to unabridged free speech.

NEWS

Little League parents sue ESPN and Stephen A. Smith in aftermath of Chicago scandal

The feel-good sports story of the 2014 summer has, inevitably, wound up in court. Parents of former players from Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Little League team filed a federal court lawsuit Thursday against Little League International, the local league, various officials and both ESPN and commentator Stephen A. Smith. In sum, they either claim that the leagues and network … Read More
NEWS

Amid the Flint water crisis, journalists are calling for changes to Michigan's FOIA law

When Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder released emails related to the ongoing water crisis in the city of Flint earlier this month, he was under no obligation to do so. Michigan is one of only two states in the country (Massachusetts is the other) where the state’s Freedom of Information Act excludes the governor’s office from public records … Read More
NEWS

Reporter reveals ‘12 kinds of emails’ professor got after blocking media

I remember watching coverage of the protests at the University of Missouri in November and seeing a YouTube video of an assistant professor grabbing at a journalist’s camera and calling for backup to block him from recording. "Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!" Melissa Click said in the … Read More
NEWS

50 states, 50 public records stories

Each month in this column, I try to feature journalists who are telling important stories using public records. For my final column of 2015, I wanted to do something big and decided to find public records stories from all 50 states (plus, a bonus: Washington, D.C.). This is not meant to be a “best of” list. It’s simply a collection … Read More
NEWS

Can FOIA be funny?

Can FOIA be funny? Curtis Raye thinks so. He has created a comedy show celebrating the quirky, off-the-wall records he and others have found through the Freedom of Information Act. Raye, a writer and former improv teacher, says he created “FOIA Love: A Comedy Show About Public Records” after spending nearly a year working as a field … Read More
NEWS

Ask for check registers and other public records tips you probably haven't thought of

Check out the checks. (Photo by jridgewayphotography/Flickr) I was at a journalism conference in Nashville last year when I heard about a public record I had never thought to request. Tawnell Hobbs, a reporter at The Dallas Morning News, was giving a presentation on school finance reporting when she mentioned an investigative story she had done using … Read More
NEWS

Top 10 tips for getting public records

Have you ever been denied a public record? Or worse, has your request been ignored? Student journalists at Indiana University dealt with those frustrations this past spring when they put 90 county agencies to the test by asking for digital access to public records. The students found that more than half of the agencies failed to comply with basic … Read More
NEWS

Federal Election Commission refuses to release computer security study

Flaws in election regulator's systems highlighted in Center for Public Integrity story This Story is being republished with permission from the Center for Public Integrity. Federal Election CommissionNext to the Federal Election Commission's front door is a quotation from former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." But … Read More
NEWS

Obtaining government officials' business emails should be easier

This is another in a series of articles by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press covering legal issues that affect journalists. RCFP's Legal Fellow Kristin Bergman wrote this article. In this 2011 file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from inside a C-17 military plane. South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, wants to know … Read More
NEWS

Why employment contracts are so much fun for a public records geek

What is your favorite public record to request? Employment contracts are near the top of my list. They can tell you so much more than what someone's salary is. For instance, did you know that some public employees get private jets, personal drivers, country club memberships and other benefits as part of their job? Journalists around the country have discovered … Read More
NEWS

How to cover the ’16 campaign: follow the money, but few are, says one reporter

(Image via Deposit Photo)Shane Goldmacher, the senior political correspondent for National Journal, has a “totally selfish reason” for covering campaign finance that has little to do with high-minded notions of holding people to account. No, it’s got a lot more to do with this: the distinct lack of competition from other journalists, he told a boot camp for … Read More
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