State high court lets stand decision protecting reporter’s notes

Posted on Jul 29, 2017 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

“The Arizona Supreme Court on (July 25) dismissed a case against an Arizona Republic reporter after a 19-month legal battle in which the newspaper argued that he did not have to turn over his unpublished notes from an interview with a crime victim,” The Arizona Republic reported July 26. The reporter in the story was John D’Anna, who serves as vice president of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona Inc. His and the...

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Judge exceeded authority in ordering deletion of student reporters’ recordings, attorneys say

Posted on Apr 3, 2017 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Two attorneys associated with the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona said a state court judge went beyond the scope of her authority in ordering journalism students to delete audio recordings they made of court proceedings during a March sentencing hearing, the Arizona Capitol Times reported April 3. Read Isaac Windes’ story in the Arizona Capitol...

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News media file only 7.6% of FOIA requests, new study finds

Posted on Mar 21, 2017 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Businesses’, individuals’ and law firms’ requests for public records under the federal Freedom of Information Act comprise more than 75 percent of the annual total, a new study has found, with news media requests representing 7.6 percent, the Columbia Journalism Review reported March 17. These statistics are from the FOIA Mapper Project, headed by Max Galka, the story said. Read CJR’s Cory Schouten’s story...

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House panel approves bill upholding student journalists’ rights

Posted on Mar 7, 2017 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Student journalists at Arizona universities, community colleges and public high schools would be protected from censorship under a bill approved March 6 by the state House Education Committee, Capitol Media Services reported in the Arizona Capitol Times. The panel voted 10-1 to move Senate Bill 1384, which has already unanimously passed the Senate, to the full House. Read Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer’s story...

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Public officials’ use of personal email for government business creates a public record, Calif. high court rules

Posted on Mar 3, 2017 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

State and local public employees using personal email or sending texts on personal cell phones about government business are creating public records, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled March 2, the Los Angeles Times reported. But as the Times’ Maura Dolan reported, the justices offered “only general guidance on where the line would be drawn (between what is in personal accounts that is and is not a public record), posing...

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First Amendment does not shield Maricopa County worker who spoke with journalist, 9th Circuit rules

Posted on Mar 2, 2017 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

The First Amendment did not protect a Maricopa County Attorney’s Office employee from being fired after speaking with an Arizona Republic reporter about a pending legal matter, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 23, Cronkite News’ Joseph Guzman reported. The decision reverses a federal district court judge’s earlier finding that Maria Brandon was wrongly terminated, Guzman wrote. Read Guzman’s story...

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Bill would ban ‘unduly burdensome’ public-records requests, but doesn’t define it

Posted on Dec 28, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

After similar legislation died in the state House of Representatives last year, a state senator is sponsoring a bill that would allow public officials to declare a request for public records as “unduly burdensome or harassing” and therefore deny it. Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer reports in the Arizona Capitol Times that “(t)he proposal by Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, leaves in place existing requirements...

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Witnesses can see all of an Arizona execution, judge rules

Posted on Dec 22, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Arizona must let all of an execution be viewed by witnesses, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Dec. 21, The Associated Press reported. Judge Murray Snow’s decision says the viewing must include any time drugs are administered to the condemned inmate, The AP reported, “marking a partial legal win for a coalition of news organizations that filed suit over secrecy surrounding lethal injections.” Read The Associated Press’...

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State appeals court denies murder suspect access to journalist’s notes

Posted on Aug 14, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Saying that Arizona journalists have a qualified privilege to refuse to surrender their notes, state appellate judges ruled in favor of an Arizona Republic editor, the Republic reported, in a case pitting the First Amendment right of a free press against a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial. The Arizona Court of Appeals turned down arguments that the reason the editor’s notes are needed is to aid in the defense of...

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