50 states, 50 public records stories

 at Poynter: “I try to feature journalists who are telling important stories using public records. For my final column of 2015, I wanted to do something big and decided to find public records stories from all 50 states (plus, a bonus: Washington, D.C.).

This is not meant to be a “best of” list. It’s simply a collection of public records stories from the past year that intrigued me. I found many of the stories by searching the National Freedom of Information Coalition’s website, as well as Investigative Reporters & Editors.…check out my list of public records stories from around the country and see what records journalists are requesting.  It’s full of great story ideas:


Auburn spent $1.67 million on Outback Bowl trip

(Montgomery Advertiser)

Auburn spent more than $1.6 million on its Outback Bowl trip, according to the Institutional Bowl Expense report summary submitted to the NCAA and released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.


KMXT sues Kodiak City for documents in police brutality case


The public radio station filed suit against the City of Kodiak to get records from police after three officers handcuffed and pepper-sprayed a man with autism.


Legislature redacts, delays and denies access to messages

(Arizona Capitol Times)

The newspaper requested electronic messages sent among top state elected officials of both parties and their top staff. But getting access to those messages was difficult.


Some question email deletion policies

(Arkansas News)

After the state treasurer’s office instituted a policy requiring employees to delete all emails after 30 days, critics questioned whether it was necessary and whether it was consistent with the spirit of open government.


Collapsed I-10 bridge given an A rating just last year

(The Desert Sun)

After a bridge collapsed on Interstate 10, the newspaper reviewed Federal Highway Administration data and found that the bridge had been given an “A” rating and one of the highest possible flood safety ratings.


Students accuse CU-Boulder of delaying release of debate documents

(Daily Camera)

University of Colorado students accused administrators of dragging their feet on an open records request the students filed to get letters, emails and documents related to the Republican presidential debate held on campus….(More)”