Reading about Digital Journalist’s Legal Guide made me realize how many rights journalist has. FOIA stands for Freedom of Information Act.
The guide states that people have legal rights to open records, for example, police misconduct, how the government spends taxpayer money and any kind of traffic records. People also have the right for open public meetings such as meetings of commissions, councils, and boards.
When it comes to news gathering reporters have limited rights. Reporters can come to a news scene but it depends on whether the property is public, non-public or private. The owners of private property usually have more control over who accesses their property. Public properties have a place and time to when reports can come and access the property.
A journalist should always know their rights when reporting and also be sure about the information that they publish. If publishing a false document, it could affect a reputation and could lead to criminal charges and be taken into court.
Anything that the government does, including salaries and information on money as a citizen you are allowed to ask for the information, and they have 20 days to respond to your request.