Friday, October 13, 2006

open records

The Star reports today that Inquiry looks at KC Council. Of course, the first question that comes to mind after reading it is, "Who is Inquiry?"

I found these passages the most intriguing:
“It’s none of Wayne Cauthen’s business who I called and who I e-mailed,” Skaggs said. “If he’s done this, I’m very disappointed.”

and
But Hermann said that she “absolutely” was upset to hear that her phone records might have been obtained by the auditor.

Thing is, those are open records. In theory, anyone -- me, you, that begger outside of Barnes & Noble on the Plaza -- has access to them.

In practice, it's a different story. Back when I still had a boss, I tried over and over again to get council members' (and the mayor's) e-mail records. But city officials kept giving me the runaround. They eventually acquiesced, but it would cost thousands and thousands of dollars and take months to complete. And my corporate former owners, who love to crow about their devotion to journalism, who spend boatloads of cash to defend their right to publish fake news stories, wouldn't foot the bill.

1 comment:

trAcy said...

the foi fun way around the trumped up costs of making copies and whatnot they claim (at least worth a try) is to ask them if their tech department has a routine database backup system and/or if the building's computers are subject to routine back-ups. if they are stored (yeah, lots of "ifs" here) it only costs them a few dollars to make cd copies and/or to let you see them yourself.