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Court rulings bolster public access to police videos

(07/12/15 1:24pm)

A recent court ruling puts Pennsylvania in the majority camp of states that have judicially recognized a right of public access to videos shot by automated cameras on police-car dashboards. Dash-cam videos have at times helped exposed police wrongdoing, though opponents argue that the videos can needlessly embarrass those being stopped by police.


UCLA law prof: Colleges are increasingly uncooperative with requests for public records about admissions practices

(10/25/15 10:26am)

A brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court reflects exasperation with colleges' unwillingness to honor legal researchers' requests for public records. As one law professor tells The Chronicle of Higher Education, "We find in our surveys substantially more stonewalling over the past two years" when state universities are asked to produce documents about their admissions standards. 


Public records deflate myths about "profitable" college athletics

(01/10/16 6:16pm)

Contrary to the image of college sports as a moneymaker, most athletic programs (even championship-caliber powerhouses) rely on student fees and grants from their parent institutions to make ends meet. Recent investigations by The Washington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education have captured the enormity of the growing financial burden that athletics imposes on debt-strapped students. 


New federal rule would protect college journalists from IRB demands to review their "research"

(12/27/15 8:07pm)

Federal rules require "research" involving "human subjects" to be approved by colleges' Institutional Review Boards. Overzealous colleges occasionally have insisted that student journalists submit their surveys or questionnaires for institutional pre-approval, violating basic principles of press freedom. The SPLC is urging the federal government to adopt a proposal categorically removing journalism from the purview of IRBs.