Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Chasing subscriptions over scale, The Athletic wants to turn local sports fandom into a sustainable business — starting in Chicago
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 11, 2014, 3:51 p.m.
LINK: www.civilbeat.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   February 11, 2014

We wrote last fall about how the Hawaii news site Honolulu Civil Beat was spawning a separate legal aid clinic to help the public — or even other news organizations — fight for better records access. (Civil Beat is probably best known as the other nonprofit news site Pierre Omidyar started and backs.)

Well, the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest just fought and won its first case.

For nearly 20 years, Hawaii police officers who were suspended for misconduct have been able to hide behind an exemption in the state’s public records law that prevents officials from releasing their names and details of disciplinary actions.

The public also has been prohibited from finding out whether police officials are handling discipline properly, whether it’s effective, and whether the public safety is being compromised. Even cops who have committed serious crimes have been allowed to remain anonymous.

But on Monday, in a case brought by Civil Beat, Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled that police cannot be above the law when it comes to disclosure of their misconduct.

Sakamoto said police officers have no right to privacy when it comes to getting in trouble. The judge also reaffirmed the public’s interest in scrutinizing government officials, especially those with a badge.

Feel free to send this post around to your local billionaires to see if they’re interested in funding something similar in your community.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Chasing subscriptions over scale, The Athletic wants to turn local sports fandom into a sustainable business — starting in Chicago
“It’s very easy today to be click-driven and produce articles that don’t have a lot of substance or depth and don’t cost that much to produce, but that dynamic is disappointing for fans who want higher-quality content.”
Hot Pod: We now have new, free rankings to show how podcasts stack up against each other
Plus: Parsing the RadioPublic announcement; premium podcast subscriptions; Bill Simmons oversimplifies things.
BuzzFeed is building a New York-based team to experiment with news video
It is the “center of a Venn diagram” between BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and BuzzFeed News.
What to read next
0
tweets
Hot Pod: As more podcasts become TV shows, can their founders retain creative control?
Plus: Podcasts as time-shifted cable TV; MTV News launches its first podcasts; Postloudness moves beyond Mailchimp.
0The Hindustan Times is working to build the definitive online source of real-time air quality in all of India
In addition to pulling in data from government stations for its map, the organization is deploying and testing its own air quality sensors across the country.
0A new growth area for foreign reporting: podcasts? With reporters in-country, GroundTruth hopes so
“There’s pretty much nothing, as far as I can tell, in terms of real, international, on-the-ground reporting in the world of podcasting.”
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
The New York Times
Windy Citizen
The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News
Semana
California Watch
I-News
ProPublica
Bayosphere
La Nación
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Daily Mail
Apple