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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Media Organizations Lobby to Quash Certain E-mail Disclosures

John Cook, a senior national reporter and blogger for Yahoo! News, is miffed at The Associated Press for what he says appears to be collaboration with the government to deny a New York Freedom of Information Law request that seeks e-mails between New York Gov. David Paterson's former communications director, former press secretary, and various news organization representatives. Cook reports the Hearst Corporation objected to the release of the e-mails on grounds that confidential sources could have been revealed in the e-mails.

Cook claims David Schulz, a media attorney in private practice, had been making inquiries whether New York's journalist shield law could serve as a possible justification for denying the FOIL request. Cook quotes Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for a Free Press as describing the government's invocation of the shield law to protect a journalist's sources as "an almost comical inversion of the law's intended purpose -- to protect journalists from the government."

Read more here.

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