Personal Information

Personal Information

Education and Employment

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.

Research

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.

Homelife and Hobbies

Gatsby Bush

I live in Gainesville with my cat, Gatsby, but it won't be long until that changes. I am engaged and will be married in the fall of 2000 -- then Gatsby will have a two-parent household!

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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