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Friday, January 30, 2009

Innovation module helps citizen journalists understand open government laws

Media law experts across the country contributed to and are featured in "The Citizen Journalist's Guide to Open Government." The module includes an interactive map, video interviews, quizzes, animation and a blog.
“The Citizen Journalist’s Guide to Open Government,“ an extensive multimedia e-learning module to help new media makers understand how to obtain public records and get into public meetings, launched today on the Knight Citizen News Network (www.kcnn.org). The guide features a unique interactive map that tells citizens how they can locate open-government information on each of the 50 state Web sites. Easy-to-find information on either the Governor’s or State Attorney General’s Web site gets a thumbs-up ranking. Hard-to-find information earns a thumbs down. Users can:
  • Obtain local, state and federal government records.
  • Appeal when a records request is denied.
  • Take steps if they are excluded from a meeting.
  • Learn what’s allowed in their state.
  • Understand access to court proceedings.
  • Link to more information.

“As more and more everyday people cover local news and information, this guide gives them a unique road map to resources and information that traditional journalists use every day,“ says Jan Schaffer, director of J-Lab, which administers the Knight Citizen News Network (KCNN) with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. J-Lab is a center of American University’s School of Communication.

More here.

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