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Perception: Open Society, Transparent Government. Reality: Florida

By - February 09, 2004

Boing Boing points us to this amazing piece of enterprise reporting: A group of journalists posed as regular citizens making perfectly legal information requests of Florida government officials. Result: nearly half of them tried to get out of providing information to citizens. Yikes. Story here.

Excerpt: Public officials lied to, harassed and even threatened volunteers who were using a law designed to give citizens the power to watch over their government. In six counties, volunteers were erroneously told that the documents they wanted didn’t exist.

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  • AgentKen

    I actually used to run that website (St. Augustine, not Boing Boing) and suggested the program to the editor, modelled after one done in Arkansas (http://foiarkansas.com/) back in 1999.

    All news orgs should do this in their states. I remember sending one of our web geeks to the local sheriff, since he knew all the ‘real’ reporters.

  • AgentKen

    The folks in St. Augustine have posted a more comprehensive version of the report.