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Peter Scheer, Executive Director, First Amendment Coalition

Former FAC Executive Director Peter Scheer Awarded Society of Professional Journalists Career Achievement Prize

Former First Amendment Coalition executive director Peter Scheer has been named the 2017 recipient of the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists’ career achievement award–a signal honor marking his advocacy, over many years, for free speech, a free press and the public’s right to know. Scheer, 65, will accept the Norwin S. Yoffie Award for […]

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A&A: CPR request denied because it wasn’t submitted on letterhead

Q: My request request for mugshot demographics data was denied by the California Department of Corrections. I sent specific data parameters for this information along with my name address and telephone number and received a telephone call from someone in the state archives denying my request. I was told the request was denied because it was not submitted […]

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A&A: How do I protect rape victims in my reporting?

Q: I’ve recently been confronted with how terrible journalistic protocol is around telling the stories of rape and assault survivors. The nature of the crimes committed against them mean that they’re often uncorroborated or unwitnessed and the hostile environment of the internet means that victims who come forward at all are hounded. Is there a way […]

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A&A: How do I challenge the results of a public records act request?

Q:  I am working with a community organization that has filed public records requests with the School District asking for certain data pertaining to enrollment statistics for a subset of their total population. We have reason so believe that the information they have provided is inaccurate. One indicator, for example, is that they have provided […]

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David Synder on Press Play

“Hate Speech” and the First Amendment – David Snyder interviewed on KCRW’s Press Play

On February 1, the University of California, Berkeley, shut down a speech by the divisive right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos after chaos erupted on the school’s campus.  FAC Executive Director David Snyder discussed the First Amendment implications of the incident with host Madeleine Brand on the public-affairs program “Press Play,” KCRW radio in Los Angeles.

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FAC Litigation Report: update on select current cases

FAC has been hard at work in state and federal court, fighting to keep government transparent and our elected leaders accountable.  Here are brief summaries of some recent developments in select FAC cases: Drone Memo Case: FAC in the Ninth Circuit  FAC lawyers were in court again last month in a lawsuit that helped bring […]

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Cal Press honoree Peter Scheer with David Snyder

Peter Scheer honored with Cal Press Foundation Award

The California Press Foundation honored FAC’s outgoing executive director Peter Scheer of the First Amendment Coalition with its Jack Bates Award on Dec. 1, 2016, at the 139th Annual Cal Press Winter Meeting at the Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco. Scheer has been the executive director of the First Amendment Coalition since 2004. […]

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Journalists Thomas Peele & Caroline Titus named 2016 FAC Award Winners

First Amendment Coalition is proud to announce the recipients of the organization’s 2016 Free Speech & Open Government Award. Out of more than two dozen nominees, two contestants will be honored, one representing a mainstream news organization, and the other representing small-scale community journalism. What they share is their diligence in pursuit of access to public records […]

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A&A: Can ballot arguments be selected based on political content?

Q:  This case concerns two opposing ballot arguments filed regarding a county measure, both from bona fide organizations. The elections official decided to evaluate the “quality” of the two arguments, as a means of selecting one for publication. He did not consider flipping a coin or random drawing. He had no decision matrix or identified factors […]

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A&A: Are not for profit charter schools required to comply with the CPRA?

Q: Under the CA Public Records Act, are not-for-profit charter schools required to comply? Are any not-for-profit (public, private, charter, etc.) required to comply? A: I’ll address your questions in reverse order.  With respect to your second question regarding whether schools are subject to the PRA depends on a few things.  Generally inour experience, non-profit […]

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