Monday, March 21, 2005

Teen loses defamation suit against Boston Magazine

A teenager whose photograph appeared in a Boston Magazine story entitled "The Mating Habits of the Suburban High School Teenager" has lost her defamation suit against the magazine, according to Media Law Prof Blog.

Round-up of Sunshine Week coverage in Mass. papers

With Sunshine Week now over, I offer my round-up of coverage from Massachusetts newspapers. Most certainly, this is incomplete, compiled primarily from what I found online and what others pointed out to me. If you know of other pieces, please let me know.

Particularly impressive was the coverage by the Metrowest Daily News, with multiple reports every day of the week.

March 13
March 14
March 15
March 16
March 17
March 18

Friday, March 18, 2005

Bills seek overhaul of state law

The Springfield Republican today reported on the bills filed by the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association to toughen the enforcement provisions of the state's open meetings laws. I am among the sources interviewed for the story, which was written by reporters Dan Ring and Buffy Spencer.

Here is an excerpt:
"State and municipal officials would face fines if they intentionally violate the state's Open Meeting Law, according to legislation pending on Beacon Hill.

"Opponents said the legislation would discourage people from serving in government and would clog the courts with more lawsuits. Supporters said the bills are needed to toughen enforcement of the law.

"Six bills to overhaul the law were filed by Rep. Arthur J. Broadhurst, D-Methuen, at the request of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association."
Read more.

New England newspaper group announces First Amendment awards

I attended the annual meeting today of the New England Newspaper Association, where NENA announced the winners of the first Morley L. Piper First Amendment Award, named for NENA's longtime executive director. The winners were The Republican of Springfield and The Providence Journal. NENA's awards committee decided last year to establish the annual award to highlight the work that newspapers do in educating and upholding the First Amendment.

For more on the awards, read this AP report.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Blogshine Sunday: support access to government information

This Sunday, news organizations across America will participate in Sunshine Sunday -- kick off to Sunshine Week -- by running stories supporting access to government information. Not wanting bloggers to be excluded, is organizing Blogshine Sunday, to encourgage bloggers across the U.S. and beyond to write about the need for open government in the digital age.

You can join Blogshine Sunday by writing in your blog about open government and how it relates to you. The Blogshine Sunday blog will aggregate and link to the postings. (Go to the site for instructions on how to link your posting.)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Cape Cod Times wins access to sheriff's records

The Supreme Judicial Court yesterday ruled that Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings must provide to the Cape Cod Times the identities of his reserve deputy sheriffs, whose names he has concealed for two years.

The SJC said that the names are public records under G.L. c. 66, s. 10, and must be made available for examination and inspection.

The sheriff had contended that the records were private because the reserve deputies have no law enforcement duties and also that the records belonged to the private Barnstable County Sheriffs Association.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Judge says bloggers can be forced to reveal sources

In a case with implications for the freedom to blog, a San Jose judge tentatively ruled yesterday that Apple Computer can force three online publishers to surrender the names of confidential sources who disclosed information about the company's upcoming products, reports The Mercury News.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg refused to extend to the Web sites protection either under California's shield law or under the First Amendment.

Kleinberg offered no explanation for the preliminary ruling. He will hear arguments today from Apple's attorneys and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco digital rights group representing two of the three Web sites Apple subpoenaed -- Apple Insider and PowerPage.

EFF has more information about the case here.