Past surveys from the National Freedom of Information Coalition have shown declining media interest and involvement in FOI litigation and legal actions.
And while news media continue to make up the largest clients litigating public record lawsuits, for the first time, NFOIC’s Biennial Open Government Survey showed that members of the public outnumbered newspapers as the larger client group for attorneys pursuing open government cases.
“The impact from the decline over the past decade in local and regional news media across the U.S. can be seen in the responses in this biennial survey since it began in 2009,” said Daniel Bevarly, NFOIC’s executive director. “The continual increases in reported violations of state open government laws in each survey are disturbing, and perhaps a related circumstance.”
Lack of funds and resources were cited as the number one reason for declining media interest and involvement in litigation, followed by a decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal action to gain access to information. Read more.