The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press today published the 6th Edition of its Open Government Guide, a comprehensive overview of open records and open meetings laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The guide is available free on the Reporters Committee website at www.rcfp.org/ogg, where users can cross-reference and compare the laws in different states or simply get an in-depth analysis of one state. A CD version of the entire guide and hard copies of each state’s section also can be ordered from the Reporters Committee for a small fee.
Each state’s outline is prepared by attorney volunteers who are experts in access law; most have worked on earlier editions of the guide.
In addition to updating the material from previous editions, the latest Open Government Guide includes:
- New categories, including access to government budgets, epidemiological records, and economic development records
- Significant statute updates, including a new open records law in Pennsylvania and a revised open meetings law in Washington, D.C.
- More specific category breakdowns on access to email, real estate and investigatory records, which enable users to better find and compare information.
“The Open Government Guide is one of the most-utilized resources on the Reporters Committee website,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish. “It is the only comprehensive guide to open meeting and record laws published anywhere in the United States. Although developed decades ago as a tool for journalists, it is relied upon today by anyone — including citizens, business leaders and lawmakers — seeking access to information about what government is doing.”
The 6th Edition of the Open Government Guide is made possible by a gift to the Reporters Committee from the Stanton Foundation. The Stanton Foundation was created by Frank Stanton, a pioneer of the television industry, who built CBS into a broadcasting powerhouse during his 25 years as its president. Among Stanton’s myriad contributions to CBS and the broadcasting industry, he ensured that television was used as an instrument of civic education, and he was a determined and committed defender of free speech and the First Amendment.
About the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Founded in 1970, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers free legal support to thousands of working journalists and media lawyers each year. It is a leader in the fight against persistent efforts by government officials to impede the release of public information, whether by withholding documents or threatening reporters with jail. In addition to its 24/7 Legal Defense Hotline, the Reporters Committee conducts cutting-edge legal research, publishes handbooks and guides on media law issues, files frequent friend-of-the-court legal briefs and offers challenging fellowships and internships for young lawyers and journalists. For more information, go to www.rcfp.org, or follow us on Twitter @rcfp.