Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Deadline is tomorrow for registration for May 17 "Access Across America" event at Belmont

National FOI Expert Brings
"Access Across America" Tour to Nashville

"Doing FOI When You're SOL"

WHO: Presented by David Cuillier, National SPJ Freedom of Information chair and co-author of the recent book "The Art of Access"

WHAT: The Society of Professional Journalists and National Freedom of Information Coalitions are co-sponsoring a 45-day road tour of the United States to train journalists and citizens in accessing public records. Cuillier's tour covers more than 35 states and more than 60 groups.

To see the tour itinerary, with a map, go to http://blogs.spjnetwork.org/aaa/?cat=5. Cuillier blogs daily at http://blogs.spjnetwork.org/aaa/.

"So far, in meeting with 315 people, mainly journalists, I'm finding that people at the local level are having great difficulty with law enforcement, more than anything. Not much of a surprise, but the problems seem quite bad," Cuillier says. "Basically, journalists are reliant on public information officers who can choose to release what they want and withhold what they want. A lot has changed since reporting 20 years ago when incident reports were provided unredacted for anyone to look at in police station lobbies. It wasn't that great then, when I was a reporter. Now it is terrible.

"But one thing I have found is that people appreciate a reminder of why transparency is so important," he adds. "Without it, we're all in a world of hurt."

WHEN: Monday, May 17,11 a.m. registration
Two-hour session -- 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Curb Event Center, Beaman A, Belmont University
On the Belmont Campus facing Belmont Boulevard. Park in the attached Curb Center parking garage. Turn left off Belmont Boulevard going south onto Bernard; the garage entrance is on the left. Attached is a PDF of the campus map.

COST: $20 per person, including box lunch

RSVP: E-mail Frank Gibson at fgibson@tcog.info no later than May 12 at 11 a.m.