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Public records

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We're asking distinguished reporters to highlight an issue or story that is either being missed entirely or underreported by the media.
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Tracking basic human events has an incredible downstream effect on measuring and making sense of health trends. Vital registration helps policymakers take targeted action to improve health. For example, the CDC has a National Birth Defects Prevention Study that relies partly on birth certificates.

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Antidote already has started some momentum. If others join in, we could change public perception, improve public safety and save lives.

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I am lobbying the Association of Health Care Journalists to help me make the case that death certificates and autopsies are important public records that should not be hidden by state or federal laws.

Picture of Liz Borkowski

President Johnson may not have intended to sign the Freedom of Information Act on Independence Day, but July 4th is a fitting birthday for FOIA.

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Recently, I asked readers to show me a case where a state attorney general had been sued five times by a public hospital to block access to records sought by journalists. I didn’t know the half of it.

Picture of William Heisel

When investigative health journalist Marshall Allen told me that my anti-FOIA stance seemed counterproductive, I listened. Here's his compelling argument.

Picture of William Heisel

No one should have to cite a public records law to gain access to records. But not everyone agrees with me.


Want to improve your data journalism skills?  Apply now for the $2,000 California Data Fellowship -- four all-expenses-paid days of training on data acquisition, analysis and visualization, a $2,000 reporting grant and six months of expert mentoring.  Dates:  October 17-20. Deadline: August 27.


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