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Snap away: Pennsylvania becomes the seventh state to recognize a right to take smartphone photos of public records

(08/21/15 6:10pm)

A police department in Reserve, Pa., tried to stop a public-records requester from making his own duplicates of government expense-account documents. But the state open-records commission, adding Pennsylvania to a growing list of states, says there's a legal right to take pictures of government documents. 





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. 


Open-government advocates urge Montana court to release athlete disciplinary appeal records to author Krakauer

(11/29/15 2:38pm)

The best-selling author of Missoula is seeking access to files indicating why the state overturned a campus disciplinary board's findings in a high-profile sexual assault case involving a University of Montana athlete. But the state argues that granting Jon Krakauer's request will put the state in violation of federal privacy laws and place $263 million in federal funding at risk.



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. 








From the SPLC Legal Network: A new FOI obstacle for journalists who need access to student testing data

(09/19/17 5:58pm)

A recent opinion by the Virginia Supreme Court illustrates just how closely requests for teacher-specific information can be scrutinized, and drives home the importance of carefully considering an open-records request before making it.