The public’s reliance on journalists and news media to stay informed is critical during a public health crisis. In their article, Adam Marshall and Gunita Singh survey and analyze how public access to government records and meetings has been impacted by the pandemic while also focusing on the key role the new media plays in informing the public about COVID-19.
Marshall and Singh examine how access to public records has been limited at the federal, state, and local levels through restrictions on the Freedom of Information Act, actions taken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of State, and local governments which have suspended access to information. The article also focuses on how the news media has navigated its role in disseminating information during the pandemic despite various roadblocks which limits its access.
Adam A. Marshall is a staff attorney at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. His work includes litigation for reporters and news organizations in federal and state courts, writing amicus briefs, and training journalists.
Gunita Singh is the 2019/2020 Jack Nelson/Dow Jones Foundation Legal Fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Her work focuses on open government litigation and providing information to reporters.