W. Va. Code § 5B-2-1 exempts from the West Virginia FOIA “any documentary material, data or other writing made or received by any public body whose primary responsibility is economic development for the purpose of furnishing assistance to a new or existing business. This exemption specifically applies to the West Virginia economic development office and other similar public bodies with such responsibilities.
The requested material must not be obtainable from other available sources. State ex rel. Charleston Mail Ass'n v. Ranson, and State ex rel. Hudok v. Henry. The court in State ex rel. Hudok v. Henry, supra, recognized there may be a situation where a newsperson is the only individual with credible evidence bearing upon an important issue in a civil case.
The Act applies to all legislative bodies, such as the State Legislature or a city council. A 1993 amendment to the statute provides that "a governing body of the Legislature is any standing, select or special committee, except the commission on special investigations, as determined by the rules of the respective houses of the legislature."
Courts can grant prospective relief enjoining a governing body of a public agency from proceeding as it has in the past and ordering the public agency to conduct its future meetings in conformity with the Open Meetings Act. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-6.
There is no West Virginia caselaw or statute addressing whether a journalist may be deemed to have waived the privilege. Because the privilege is constitutional in nature, it is likely the privilege may never be deemed to have been waived.