LDieringer's blog

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GA: Times wins Freedom of Information award

June 28, 2017 12:39 PM

Valdosta Daily Times Editor Jim Zachary received the Associated Press Media Editors Freedom of Information award for the third year in a row Saturday.

Zachary also received awards for best editorial, bringing home both first and third place.

Managing Editor Kristin Patten received a second-place award for best website in the daily newspaper division. Continue...

At 51, FOIA is still relevant, maybe more than ever

June 28, 2017 12:20 PM

Next week, the Freedom of Information Act will be 51 years old. July 4th marks the birthday of the law that, for the first time in U.S. history, gave all persons a sweeping right to obtain government records. FOIA may be middle aged, but it is still very relevant. In fact, the advent of the Trump administration gives the law new immediacy. It can be used to open government records (potentially even memoranda to and from the White House) thus assisting citizens in understanding and acting on their lawfulness and policy implications. Read more »

Op-Ed: Too many Florida lawmakers fail to make the grade, impose more public-records secrecy

June 27, 2017 2:23 PM

Florida lawmakers received a final grade on their support for public-records laws during this year’s legislative session in Tallahassee — a score given by Florida newspapers with information culled by the state’s premier open-government group, the First Amendment Foundation.

Unfortunately, lawmakers’ scores are nothing to boast about to their constituents back home. And South Florida legislators barely made a respectable grade. Read more »

How Los Angeles CDO Lilian Coral is Building a Data-Sharing Culture

June 27, 2017 11:59 AM

When Mayor Eric Garcetti was elected in 2013, one of his major goals was to make Los Angeles a smart city. That very year, he signed a landmark executive directive that established the city’s emphasis on data-driven policy and open data. Read more »

Activists call on lawmakers to delete FOIA language from defense policy bill

June 27, 2017 11:25 AM
A group of 31 activist organizations are urging lawmakers to take out language in the fiscal year 2018 defense policy bill that, if enacted, would exempt the Pentagon from releasing certain documents that until now were accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

Louisiana: PAR Releases Guide to the 2016 Constitutional Amendments

October 12, 2016 3:47 PM

The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana released the PAR Guide to the 2016 Constitutional Amendments. The Guide explains the potential impact of the six constitutional amendments that the public will consider on the Nov. 8 ballot statewide. This objective review will help voters understand the issues and the potential changes so they may develop their own positions on each proposition. View here. Read more »

Why Open Access Has To Look Up For Academic Publishing To Look Up

October 12, 2016 3:36 PM

In 2011, speaking impassionately to an audience at CERN – one of the world’s largest institutions for nuclear physics research, headquartered in Geneva – Lessig, a professor of law at Harvard Law School and a political activist, highlighted the crisis of access to scientific scholarship. Indeed, over the last six decades, public access to scholarly works has diminished. Works that can be freely searched and read represent only a sliver of the entire wealth of human knowledge. Read more »

Connecticut: Fear of retribution cited for withholding officials’ identities from public

October 12, 2016 3:22 PM

Protecting the identity of current and past New Canaan officials who fear retribution or embarrassment in the community if their true opinions became known is a weightier public interest than letting the identities and opinions be known to the electorate. New Canaan Charter Revision Commission Chairman David Hunt and member Penny Young told a Connecticut Freedom of Information hearing officer on Tuesday that this was a primary reason for the Charter Revision Commission (CRC) withholding such information from the public. Read more »

Maine: Only two of Portland’s 17 legislative candidates have signed an open government pledge

October 12, 2016 3:05 PM

Of the 17 candidates seeking to represent Portland in the Maine Legislature, only two have signed a pledge to support open government if elected. Read more »

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