How journalists use the public records acts: Promoting open government
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How journalists use the public records acts: Promoting open government

Sacramento : CA : USA | Mar 18, 2012 at 8:05 PM PDT
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Health investigative reporters and researchers can use California's Public Records Act. See the March 18, 2012, Sacramento Bee article by Joyce Terhaar, "From the Executive Editor: Watchdog role relies on access to records."

Public rights to records if you're thinking of being an investigator reporter in the field of holistic health are available because legal action protects public rights. See Legislation Affecting Alternative Therapies and CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog.

Investigative reporters in holistic health and in other areas of media can use California's Public Records Act to document costs, for example. See the PDF article, Public Records Act - State of California - Department of Justice.

You could look up the administrative leave costs in our local school districts. The point is you have California's public law to protect your access as an independent journalist to have public access to specific government documents. There's an annual meeting for journalists called Society of Professional Journalists: Sunshine Week that helps to promote open government and public records.

In the field of holistic health, you have so much information to sort through when writing about all the aspects of holistic family health. Sometimes you may want to cross-reference district lists of administrative leave. And other times you may want to cross-reference the licensing of various holistic health establishments or practitioners or persons trained in integrative and complementary health or in allied health fields such as therapists of various kinds.

The holistic health reporter, independent, entrepreneurial, or other is a watchdog for consumers. What a reporter writes helps to keep readers informed about what's happening regarding holistic family health in your community. Know that you have as writers and researchers legal protections around open government and records to write your watchdog stories. You need to know who's watching the watchers.

Locally, here in Sacramento you have the Public Records Act - State of California - Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of State Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or the Open Public Records Act to utilize for your investigative reporting or interviewing. The big picture is who makes holistic family health information available to the public. Also see, Dem. lawmaker proposes repeal of Legislative Open Records Act.

One local example might be the investigation into police pepper-spraying of UC Davis students. How does that impact holistic health in the area? Should reports like the UC Davis spraying and the resulting temporary health issues or effects on the students be kept public or private? Should personnel information remain confidential or be public news?

Holistic health reporters also can look at the records of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Or you can read news reports. But what if you want to investigate to write about holistic health in the niche or medical media? Will you know where to look for information that consumers might want to know? Legal action protects public rights.

Are you able to access public records when you need them for your work or personal research on health matters for your family? One example might be if you're researching a rare genetic variation and whether or not medicines are available for that condition. When it comes to public health issues, know what needs to be presented to the public for your health's sake.

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You can research public access government records.
Investigative reporters, freelance or staff can make use of the various public information access to government records when researching and writing the news.
AnneHart is based in Sacramento, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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