Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime

Police agencies are misinterpreting a victim rights law, and it isn’t helping the victims or the public

This opinion piece reflects the point of view of the writer. Cameren Boatner is a reporting intern for the Student Press Law Center. Students have a right to know when a crime occurs in their backyard – especially when the crime is sexual violence. But a law intended to protect victims is leaving the public… Continue reading Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime

Access to public information restricted as schools move online

Many schools across the country are failing to comply with Sunshine Laws during the coronavirus pandemic, which is making it even more difficult for student journalists to cover the news. Daniel Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said the coronavirus isn’t a legally acceptable reason for universities to withhold public information… Continue reading Access to public information restricted as schools move online

When I request records, do I have to explain why I want them?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Am I required to explain why I want a particular record when submitting an open records request? A: Almost always, states and the federal government FOI laws make clear that the motivation behind an open records request is irrelevant.… Continue reading When I request records, do I have to explain why I want them?

Judge releases records in Krakauer case, provides narrow ruling in Montana open records lawsuit

The Montana University System must now release sexual assault records to author Jon Krakauer in a long-standing legal battle, Montana District Judge Mike Menahan ruled Krakauer will have access to the majority of the documents asked for, with names redacted. 

Student journalist challenges University of Wisconsin for records in investigation of professor

When a professor was pulled out of a lecture and suddenly stopped teaching his other classes, Alex Nemec, a student journalist at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, filed records requests to find out why. Nemec has encountered two hurdles to accessing records, the first imposed by the University and the second by the professor himself.