The Power of Public Records


Start Anytime

The Power of Public Records

How public data and documents can pack power into an interview-driven story.

Type: Webinar

Originally Broadcast On: January 10, 2018

Time Estimate: One Hour


SKU: NUWEB02-18 Category: Tag:


Training five or more people?
Check out our custom training.

Data and documents talk when others won’t. They tell the truth when others lie. They let you see the big picture, protect you and lead you to real humans you can interview.

This webinar explores different methods you can use records to inject authority into on-the-ground reporting. We’ll also talk about what kinds of records exist and how to get them.


  • How public data and documents can pack power into an interview-driver story
  • How to navigate local, state and federal records laws
  • How to troubleshoot denied requests
  • How to get into a records routine
  • How others have used records in creative ways to cover universities
  • How to think outside the box if a record isn’t public


An introduction to public records, geared toward reporters, digital producers, bloggers, storytellers and others interested in digging into ready available information.


Alexandra Zayas

Alexandra Zayas is a senior editor at ProPublica. She spent 12 years at the Tampa Bay Times, ultimately as the newspaper’s enterprise editor. As a reporter, her investigation into abuse at unlicensed religious children’s homes across Florida won the 2013 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. She has served on the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.