Tuesday, August 31, 2004

School committee skirts open meeting law

The Fitchburg, Mass., Sentinel & Enterprise reports on the Fitchburg School Committee's skirting of the open meetings law:
"Executive session minutes released by the Fitchburg School Committee Monday are 'vague' and violate the spirit of open meeting laws, according to two experts in First Amendment law.

"School Committee members voted to approve and release executive session minutes from meetings starting in January through July at Monday night's meeting, after the Sentinel & Enterprise requested the records.

"But the documents released provide only one or two sentence summaries of the general nature of the meetings, rather than a full account of what was said."

Lucy Dalglish: New attacks on the First Amendment

Lucy Dalglish, a lawyer, journalist and executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, on journalists' tough summer:
"First Amendment principles that generally had been considered settled since the days of Watergate and the Pentagon Papers are under attack. It has been at least 30 years since we have seen such a dramatic weakening of fundamental protections for gathering and publishing of news."