I did my undergraduate work at the University of Florida -- I got my bachelor of science degree in journalism in 1993. After graduation, I worked at the Sun Herald newspaper in Charlotte County, Fla. for more than three years. I covered education and government during my years there. I also had my own food section in the paper.
After that, I came back to UF to earn my master's degree. I received it in mass communication with a specialization in media law in December 1998. I stayed on for my Ph.D. in mass communication, again with a specialization in media law. I plan to finish my Ph.D. in the summer of 2000.>
While in graduate school, I have held a fellowship with the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information. I have worked as a research assistant to the director, as well as the editor of The Brechner Report, a publication about media law issues in Florida.
My research area is access to government information. I study how and why citizens get access to government documents. I recently presented a paper at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's national convention on access to crime statistics in Florida. In that study, I found that about 1/3 of records requesters did not receive access to public records.
I also have a book chapter coming out in January that focuses on how computerizing records changes access to information. In that study, I did a state-by-state analysis of access provisions (statutes, case law and attorney generals' opinions) and found that most states are not including computerized public records in their laws.
I am working on my dissertation now. I am exploring the decision-making process records custodians go through when granting or denying access to records. I'm trying to understand whether custodians feel more accountable to the citizenry or government agencies. I am hoping to be finished with that this spring.
My hobbies include reading, runnning and cooking. My newest hobbies are poring over wedding magazines and trying to figure out how to make long-distance wedding plans.
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