Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Join Falcon Media for Fall Semester
We are accepting applications to join Falcon Media for Fall 2024 - paid leadership, staff, and summer internships, as well as internship and volunteer opportunities. Get all the details here
The BG News
Follow us on social
BG24 Newscast
February 29, 2024

  • Danez Smith at AWP
    Richard Saker/Contour by Getty Images As we end Black History Month, here is one of my favorite poets, Danez Smith, who writes on intersectionality between their Black and Queer identities. At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Kansas City, MO, I had the opportunity to personally meet Smith, and they are […]
  • Lying in Memoir
    Lauren Slater crafts diligent, depictive metaphors in narrative, and I hate her writing, simultaneously. Should there be lying in memoir? In her book, Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir (2000), Slater crafts lies from epilepsy to nunneries to doctor visits and proposed peer reviewed theses to AA meetings. However, within these lies, she allows us to question […]
Spring Housing Guide

New bill may provide better access to public records

Since a new house bill was introduced in 2006 to Ohio State Legislature, nine of the 126 general assemblies have changed previous regulations involving public records.

The bill has made multiple changes to public record laws that not only will affect court room cases, but media as well. Journalists too, rely a great deal on access to public records.

“By and large, the bill is a good thing for journalists,” said Victoria Ekstrand, an assistant journalism professor at the University. Ekstrand believes that the bill is a response to issues involving the ethical concerns in the Taft administration.

According to the Ohio State Legislature Web site, House Bill 9 allows a public office the ability to “deny a request for public records when the requester makes an ambiguous or overly broad request or the public office cannot reasonably identify the public records being requested, but must provide the requester an opportunity to revise the request.”

People who requests records also now have the power to sue and recover damages if the office of public records does not comply, according to Ekstrand.

This may limit the amount of information journalists can receive when seeking out story sources, and make access to information more difficult and time consuming.

The bill was approved by the House on March 15, 2006, and passed by the Senate on Dec. 13, 2006, according the office of local representative Randy Gardner. The effective date of the bill, after being signed by Governor Ted Strickland will be this month.

The bill was introduced by Ohio House representative Scott Oeslager back in January 2005, as a response to a public record audit that showed only half of all public record requests were being filled, according to Gardner’s office.

The bill addresses journalists specifically when it comes to public record requests dealing with concealed weapons.

The bill “allows a journalist to submit to a sheriff a signed, written request to view the name, county of residence, and date of birth of each person for whom the sheriff has suspended or revoked a license to carry a concealed handgun or a temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun,” according to the Ohio State Legislature Web site.

The sheriff is then required, by the new bill, to grant the journalist’s request

Journalists, however, won’t be the only ones to benefit from the passing of the bill.

“In a study done by the National Security Agency, on the federal level, the largest sector of requests [for records] came from the private sector,” said Ekstrand. This includes corporations, educational facilities and average citizens’ requests.

Overall the bill should resolve problems people were experiencing when trying to access public records.

The only potential downfall, according to Ekstrand, is stretch of state government resources, such as time, money and effort, to make sure the new rules are being carried out.

Students, journalists and others interested can learn more about the bill and what changes were made by it, by accessing the Ohio State Legislature Web site at www.legislature.state.oh.us.

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media
$725
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media
$725
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *