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Miami Herald
March 16, 2015

Open-records law morphs into tool for corporations, advocates
By Kevin G. Hall and Kevin Johnson

A recent review of thousands of federal court records conducted by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse found that media organizations were filing fewer lawsuits challenging federal government secrecy than in past years. The study, which compared the last four years of the George W. Bush administration with the first term of the Obama administration, found that news organization lawsuits dropped from 22 to 18. This stood out against the total number of FOIA suits brought by all plaintiffs, which was higher during the first Obama term than the last years of Bush’s tenure. They know the media doesn’t have staying power. Thomas Susman, former Justice Department official In a separate examination published late last year, Syracuse researchers found that more FOIA lawsuits – 422 – were filed against the federal government in fiscal year 2014 than in any year since 2001. Despite that volume, the report found that The New York Times was the only so-called “legacy” news organization to have brought several legal challenges in federal court. Among the other news groups identified in the 2014 research were more recent industry players: ProPublica, MuckRock and Vice News. Advocacy groups such as the left-leaning Public Citizen and the right-leaning Judicial Watch are also more likely to sue under FOIA laws than many media organizations. Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/static/features/sunshine/Sunshine-Players.html?brand=mia#storylink=cpy

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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