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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AP considering legal action over Clinton emails

The Associated Press | The New York Times The Associated Press is considering legal action against the State Department "for failing to turn over some emails covering Clinton's tenure," Jack Gillum and Ted Bridis wrote for The Associated Press Wednesday. The threat comes amid allegations that Clinton used a private email account linked to a server … Read More

Jack White disses student newspaper over open records request

White. (AP) The Oklahoma Daily Thanks to controversy surrounding a student newspaper's open records request, the public now knows that Jack White is currently on a "no banana" tour, that he prefers his guacamole "chunky" and that he doesn't think much of journalism degrees. Those details were revealed after the University of Oklahoma's OU Daily got curious about White's … Read More

Buy the journalist in your life a drone. Or a selfie stick

Good morning. Thanks for hanging in there with me this week. We're taking a newsletter break for the holidays but will return on Monday, Jan. 5, brimming with news and probably an extra five pounds from all that day drinking. In the meantime, Poynter has a lot of great stories lined up for your holiday reading pleasure. For now, here … Read More