‘Full Disclosure’  workshops shine light on public information, open data

Here’s the press release from Carolina Public Press:

ASHEVILLE, CULLOWHEE AND BOONE — In honor of Sunshine Week in North Carolina, Carolina Public Press announces it will hold a “Full Disclosure” workshop series at three Western North Carolina locations from April 3-5.

The series will give journalists, students, public information officers, citizens and civic and IT leaders the essential tools, guides and instruction needed to understand and access public records and data at the local, state and federal levels.

Workshops will be held on April 3 at UNC Asheville, on April 4 at Western Carolina University, and on April 5 at Appalachian State University. Each will feature presentations on what records are considered public according to state and federal law and how to combat challenges to getting information from the local to federal level. It will provide up-to-date case studies — including court cases and proposed legislation — that offer further insight into the current application of and challenges to state and federal public records law. Trainers include Amanda Martin, N.C. Press Association’s general counsel; Jon Elliston, investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press; and Angie Newsome, executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press.

“The public’s access to information is essential to an informed and engaged electorate,” said Angie Newsome, editor and founder of Carolina Public Press and www.carolinapublicpress.org, a nonprofit news service offering unbiased, in-depth and investigative news to the 18 westernmost counties of North Carolina. “This workshop will not only help people understand the laws, but also current challenges to them and how to apply them with success. We’ll also offer ways to publish the results, which will give the public even more access to important — and public — information.”

In addition to the training, each workshop will also feature a social and networking event where participants can discuss issues related to open government, data and records. Presenters will be available to answer questions.

The “Full Disclosure” workshop series is sponsored by Appalachian State University’s Department of Communication, Community Newspapers Inc. — Franklin Region, Mountain Xpress, the N.C. Press Association, UNC Asheville’s Department of Mass Communication and Western Carolina University’s Department of Communication.

Admission is free for UNCA, WCU and ASU students with a student ID and $30 for all others. Advance registration is required, and seating is limited. Register at www.carolinapublicpress.org or by calling (828) 279-0949.

ABOUT CAROLINA PUBLIC PRESS: Public interest reporting is critical to an informed, engaged electorate and to ensuring government accountability. Carolina Public Press, a nonprofit online news service, provides Western North Carolina with unbiased, in-depth and investigative reporting as well as educational opportunities to journalists, students and others. A member of the N.C. Press Association, Carolina Public Press’s reporting is shared by top media organizations throughout North Carolina, including The Charlotte Observer, WCQS, WLOS TV, WUNC, Mountain Xpress and many others. It was the recipient of a national New Media Women Entrepreneur Award in 2012. Carolina Public Press is updated Monday through Friday at www.carolinapublicpress.org.

Reserve tickets for the Asheville workshop here.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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