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Police video claim doesn’t add up

By Steve Key
Hoosier State Press Association

A dispute between Purdue University and school newspaper The Exponent highlights an aspect of the Access to Public Records Act that might need a judicial decision or legislative action to clarify.

The question is whether the public still has a right to inspect and copy public records after law enforcement considers the records evidence in a criminal investigation.

The answer lies with the state’s legislative intent of the term “investigatory record,” defined as “information compiled in the course of the investigation of a crime” at IC 5-14-3-2(h). Police can keep investigatory records confidential if they choose.

The Exponent wants Purdue to release surveillance video of officers confronting a photographer following a fatal shooting on campus in January. The newspaper says the footage would support the photojournalist’s account that he was harassed and manhandled. Read more »

2014 state legislative wrap-up

By Steve Key
Hoosier State Press Association

A recap of HSPA’s work in the 2014 Indiana General Assembly:

Public notice advertising

Only one of six anti-public notice advertising bills was passed by the 2014 General Assembly.

That bill, H.E.A. 1385, authored by Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, and sponsored by Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, will allow storage facilities to forego publication of notice of the sale of abandoned property. They can advertise in any other “commercially reasonable” manner. Read more »

Public notice lives to fight another day

The 2014 General Assembly was marked more by what didn’t happen than what did happen from an Indiana newspaper industry perspective.

The legislature did not pass:

• Five of six bills that attacked the concept of public notice advertising.

• A bill amending the Access to Public Records Act in two ways.

• “Ag-gag” legislation.

The press did benefit from the legislature’s desire to protect citizens from government intrusion. Read more »

Mobile video training: There’s a seminar for that

By John Strauss
Ball State University

Smart phones make up most of the new mobile phones sold in the United States and usually come with the ability to shoot high-definition video.

But many newsrooms – busy already with breaking news and enterprise reporting demands – haven’t had the chance to learn the new tools.

A new program from the HSPA Foundation, Associated Press Media Editors and Ball State University will get you started and grow the skills you already have – for the same low cost as always at the Road Show for Reporters.

Ball State will host the conference Thursday, June 19 in its state-of-the-art media labs.

Smart Video reporting workshop

When: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Where: Ball State University, Muncie

Cost: $35 (early-bird rate) or $45 (regular registration); includes lunch and a 2014 AP Stylebook

Registration: Watch for mailed and emailed registration information.

Read more »