Laura Prather in Right to Report: Texas Journalists Battle for Media Access


A year ago, the Texas Legislature amended the state’s Public Information Act to give citizens and journalists greater access to public records and the discussions of public officials...

Laura Lee Prather, a media attorney and past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, believes that on the whole the Public Information Act has gotten stronger in the last three legislative sessions – but some media organizations aren’t taking advantage of that.

In 2009, Texas became the 37th state to enact a reporter’s privilege, a “shield law” protecting sources and information. Known as the Texas Free Flow of Information Act, it applies to both civil and criminal proceedings.

When reporters are subpoenaed in a criminal case, if they “file a motion to quash seeking protection from the law, rather than just succumb to the subpoena, the law is working well,” Prather said.

Excerpted from the Right to Report, September 25, 2014. To view full article, click here.

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