Saturday, March 26, 2011

Private Investigator News: Va. FOI restrictions challenged by RCFP

"The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a challenge to a Virginia statute that limits access to state and local public records to Virginia residents.

Joined by 21 news media companies and journalism organizations, the Reporters Committee brief argues the statute is unconstitutional because it discriminates between Virginia citizens and everybody else, creating a substantial burden on the rights of journalists.

“Although the statute allows news organizations that have significant numbers of viewers or readers in Virginia to make public records requests, the law gives an overwhelming majority of media nationwide no legal right to get public records of great interest to the entire country,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish. “In today’s Internet-centric world, limiting access based on geography is antiquated and pointless.”

Although the case of McBurney v. Young involves two non-journalists who live outside Virginia and are seeking information from government agencies there, the implications for news gathering make this case of great interest to reporters, who frequently cover major stories in the Commonwealth."

Read more
Location Oakland, Ca | San Francisco, Ca | California - Private Investigator