Links to web sites for other states' audits:
Links to web sites with useful information about access to government information:
- The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information:
The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information is part of the University
of Florida. It acts as a clearing house for national and state media
law issues. The web site includes a sample letter for requesting
access to government information. It also includes a tally of
prosecutions for violating Florida's Open Government laws.
- Florida Government-in-the-Sunshine-Law:
This is the online version of Florida's Open Meetings and Public Records laws.
It is part of the Florida Attorney General's web site.
Not only does it include the statutes, but also frequently asked
questions about the law and information about a free mediation program for access
- The First Amendment Foundation:
The First Amendment Foundation is a non-profit organization in
founded in 1984 by The Florida Press Association, the Florida Society of Newspaper
Editors, and the Florida Association of Broadcasters. The Foundation provides
training, information and legal services related to access to government information.
- The Freedom Forum:
The Freedom Forum collects information about international press freedoms
(or the lack thereof). Its web site has great separate sections about the
five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- The Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press:
The committee serves working journalists by providing information about state and
federal access provisions. This web site has a letter-generator for writing freedom
of information requests. It also has information about the committee's toll-free
legal defense line.
Information about the author of this site:
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. Currently, I am a Ph.D candidate, and I plan to finish my degree 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. 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.
If you would like to ask questions
or make comments regarding this site or the information it contains, send an e-mail to
Michele Bush ./font>
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