"Behind the Curtain"— under the rug?
"The group’s involvement in a municipal infrastructure issue spotlights how AFP is seizing on local issues across the country as it works to build a permanent grass-roots army."
From The Local Fix
Last week I mentioned the smart newsletter on local news from Josh Stearns at the Dodge Foundation called The Local Fix. I like him so I'll do it again.
In his latest email, Stearns highlighted the ways that local/national media partnerships can be a two-way street: big data sets and new tools for local newsrooms, boots on the ground for their national counterparts. These examples he flags might hold inspiration for reporters and editors here in Colorado:
Colorado transparency news"This is the same interpretation of the FirstAmendment that allows Salvation Army bell ringers to dress up like Santa ... and ask for change, the Girl Scouts to peddle Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties, and groups like Greenpeace — which signed on as one of the plaintiffs in the Grand Junction case — to brandish clipboards and recruit members on sidewalks."
The National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition are holding an FOI Summit in Denver Oct.9-10. Here's the agenda and registration page. I plan to go Saturday—Open Government Day— so if you're there come over and say hi.
A federal judge recently ruled the U.S. Forest Service "violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to conduct an adequate search and limiting what was disclosed about a proposed development in southwestern Colorado," according to CBS Denver.
The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports that the Colorado State University System "may propose changing the state’s open-record policy to honor only requests made by Colorado residents." (The Coloradoan was one of of three news agencies in 2009 that sued CSU’s Board of Governors "over an alleged violation of the state’s Open Meetings Law.")
From the Oct. 3 piece:
[Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition director Jeffrey] Roberts, a former journalist, used the example of an Associated Press reporter in New York working on a story of national significance — why should Colorado be able to exempt itself from requests made by that person? There’s also potential issues for out-of-state students, including in CSU’s online degree program, having access to public records for their school. “I think we could probably list a bunch of reasons why (public records) shouldn’t be restricted to Coloradans only,” Roberts said.
2016Earlier this week, when I tweeted this story by Lars Gesing the assistant director of the explanatory journalism project at CU News Corps, a marketing professor from many states away tweeted back "La la la la la la la-I'm-not-listening-la la la la la la la." Why? Probably because the story cited opinion researchers who are preaching restraint for journalists covering the 2016 horse race.
An excerpt from one of them in the piece:
“The old-time journalists, they are the ones who are good. They have been through this stuff before. They call me and say, ‘I have to ask you what is going on with these new polls. My editor wants something a little bit better than: The polls are kind of meaningless.’”
Last thing: Death of a news man
RIP Bill Jackson, aka "the voice of agriculture in Weld County," who spent 30 years at The Greeley Tribune and just died at 71.
"He was widely known for his professionalism and talent for writing about water issues and agriculture, and ranked as the only member of the print media inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame."
I'm Corey Hutchins, the Colorado-based correspondent for Columbia Journalism Review's United States Project, and I hope you enjoy the work CJR does to monitor and support local accountability journalism around the country.