Register now to join the National Press Club Journalism Institute for a free hour-long program at 11:30 a.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 24, to learn how to break into this hidden system.
Since the murder of George Floyd by police, there has been renewed attention to police misconduct and growing momentum for holding law enforcement accountable. But journalists struggle to get access to public records that could be used to reveal police conduct.
The hour will feature tips from WAMU reporter Martin Austermuhle, Maryland Office of the Public Defender Deborah Katz Levi, Maryland State Senator William C. Smith Jr., and veteran reporter Miranda S. Spivack.
Program participants will learn:
- How to find sources for records disclosure laws in your state, including understanding how to ensure that the law enforcement agencies you cover are complying with disclosure laws and regulations
- What to do if law enforcement agencies refuse to disclose anything, citing pending investigations
- How to find records involving police misconduct
- Story ideas for covering law enforcement
- How to get help when you are stonewalled
Journalists across the country will gain an understanding of the national trends and issues, how to localize stories, and what they can do to unearth these records across the country.
The National Press Club Journalism Institute serves thousands of people daily with our newsletter, online programming, writing group, and other support. The Institute depends on grants, foundation funds, and contributions from individuals like you. Your donation today allows the Institute to offer the majority of its programming at no cost.