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A Maryland appeals court is being asked to decide whether the public can have access to the records of an internal investigation into a misconduct complaint against a state trooper.
If you're a news reporter on a college campus -- especially one that's reticent about answering requests for information -- Christmas comes next Monday.
When the editor of Bryan College’s newspaper learned there was more to a professor’s resignation than had first appeared, he looked into the incident and started reporting.
Using public records, Alex Green discovered that assistant professor David Morgan’s resignation was preceded by a June arrest in which he was charged with attempted aggravated child molestation, attempted child molestation and sexual exploitation of a child.
Green planned a story on the arrests, but before it could run in last Friday’s issue of The Bryan College Triangle, college administrators at the private Dayton, Tenn., college told him he couldn’t run the story.
The Society of Professional Journalists is formally supporting legal efforts to bring an end to FERPA, the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act, following a resolution passed last week.
The resolution, which passed unanimously at the group’s annual convention, encourages the news media legal community to find a strong case to challenge the constitutionality of FERPA under the Supreme Court’s “Obamacare” ruling.
The 1974 law requires schools to keep “educational records” private or risk losing federal funding, something that has never happened in the 38 years the law has been in place.
Most college students understand the level of safety on their campus, but sometimes they can get a little too comfortable.
A much needed reminder of campus safety comes this week, as this past Monday was the deadline for colleges to release their annual crime report, as required by the Jeanne Clery Act. All colleges that except federal money, which includes almost all public and private colleges that accept federal financial aid, are required to release this report that chronicles the last three years’ worth of serious crime by category. The act is named after a Lehigh University student who was raped and murdered in her dorm room.
What's the most useful thing hanging on your newsroom wall?
If you said the instructions for the coffee-maker, or the menu for the late-night pizza delivery place ... okay, it's hard to argue with that.
When we launched our Break FERPA campaign, we wanted to see how universities would respond when students asked for their own records in the same over-broad way schools use when withholding public records.
Would schools maintain their previously held position, and turn over all the emails, notes, memos, video, audio, parking tickets or phone records where a student is personally identifiable, even if not mentioned by name?
A former Amherst College student's nightmarish story of the aftermath of her rape in a campus dorm -- a story so profoundly unsettling that readers are being cautioned to steel themselves before viewing it -- is igniting a wave of indignation over the callous treatment of crime victims when they are most in need of support.
"Callous" is wholly inadequate to describe author Angie Epifano's ordeal with a system that appears, based on her experience, calculated to create a liability-reducing paper trail instead of to offer sensitive and individually appropriate care to those traumatized by campus violence.
Angie's story, published Oct.
"Getting tough on China" has become bumper-sticker material this campaign season, tapping into voter anxiety that America's trade imbalance with Asia equates to a loss of economic power.
We were more than a little alarmed when we saw this story yesterday, about a search for the new president of the Louisiana State University system.
At an estimated $31 billion, Harvard University's investment fund -- the largest in the nation -- is valued higher than the Gross Domestic Product of Paraguay, Bolivia or Jordan.
Contractors who accept payment from the government -- to build stadiums, pave roads, operate cafeterias, or provide security guards -- must accept a little public snooping into their business practices as part of the bargain.
There's a temptation to think of bonds that the government floats to pay for big-ticket construction projects as "play money." You get a $20 million building and you only pay for a fraction of it -- this year, at least.
College football and basketball players are often the most recognizable celebrities in their college towns (and for an elite few, well beyond). Their faces adorn media guides, and their likenesses and stats are featured in top-selling video games.
But is there ever a time when athletes go "off duty" and regain the full privileges of adulthood?
At a journalism workshop in San Francisco a few years back, a reporter for a small alternative newspaper shared her frustration with getting a local police agency to reply to what seemed like a reasonable request: How many complaints of police brutality do you receive, and what are their outcomes?
At the SPLC, we think it's really touching that people arranged festive family get-togethers, decorated their homes, and canceled school and work just to celebrate Transparency Tuesday.
There's nothing as empowering -- or maddening -- as a clean slate. What will you do with 2013? Drop those 15 pounds?
Like it or not, attorneys who work on contract for government agencies -- and, it turns out, even those whose payment flows through government agencies' insurance companies -- must let the public know what they're charging for.
That's the bottom line of a new ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court that comes just a few months after courts in California and Ohio reached the same conclusion.
A college employee is accused of wrongdoing, and fights to keep his job. Rather than drag out the hostilities, both sides agree on a buyout, and the employee quietly goes away.
Or maybe it's the other way around.
Put yourself in the place of a school or college attorney. Your client, the institution, is trying to decide whether to fulfill or reject a journalist's request for public records.
Honoring the request is going to be a nuisance, and the records contain some embarrassing information the school would rather not see on the evening news.
The records pretty clearly don't contain any confidential student information -- but the journalist can't easily prove that.