The Indiana Publisher

January 2022 IP

Hoosier State Press Association - The Indiana Publisher

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Publisher The Indiana Volume 87, Issue 1 • January 2022 Published monthly Transparency, privacy concerns at odds in mixed bag of proposed public access legislation Legislative update Legislation filed for the 2022 Indiana General Assembly concerning the public's right to know is a mixed bag – some positive and some negative. On one hand, there are sev- eral bills restricting the public's access to information apparently based on a concern with individ- uals' privacy. On the other hand, there are several bills aimed at giving Hoosiers the right to speak at public meeting – not just "observe and record," which is the standard currently in the Open Door Law. Restrictive bills S.B. 195 (Sen. Rodney Pol, D-Chesterton) would protect the identities of youths facing petitions alleging juvenile delin- quency. This language is favored by the Indiana Public Defenders Council, but goes against policy established by the legislature in 1993 following a task force recommendation to make more juvenile court information avail- able to the public based on con- cerns with violent crimes com- mitted by juveniles and how the court was dealing with the issue. H.B. 1170 (Rep. Tom Saunders, R-Lewisville) would prevent police departments from sharing the name and photo of individuals arrested on social media, websites, or during a See Access, page 2 Unfortunately, the Hoosier State Press Association faces another challenge to the pres- ervation of public notices being required to be published in local newspapers in the General Assembly. Sen. Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, has introduced S.B. 283. His bill would give state and local government units the option to place their public notices on their "official websites" rather than publish in newspapers. "This would create a crazy patchwork quilt for Hoosiers trying to determine what local government may be doing or contemplating," said Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for HSPA. Research would be required for someone to determine which units are publish- ing notices in the local newspa- pers as the requirement has been for decades and decades and which have decid- ed to use their website option. Even if one thinks the govern- ment unit is using the local newspaper, S.B. 283 would not prevent that unit from picking and choosing which notices go in the newspaper and which go on its website, Key said. "This means the routine notices might go into the news- paper, but something tied to a controversial subject might get placed on the website with the See Public Notice, page 7 S.B. 283 challenges preservation of public notices in newspapers Buck Feb. 4 is the deadline for college students to apply for a reporting fellowship this March in the nation's capitol. HSPA Foundation funding college journalism fellowship in D.C. The Hoosier State Press Association Foundation will sponsor an Indiana college jour- nalist for a reporting fellowship this spring. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Feb. 4. This is in conjunction with the National Newspaper Association Foundation's News Fellows Program in March during NNA's Community Newspaper Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. The student fellow will travel to D.C. for several days in mid- March and will work with vet- eran reporters while producing a story for publication in Indiana newspapers. The reporting topic will be climate change. Expenses are paid. For more details, visit https:// Questions? Email Steve Key at news@hspa. com. H.B. 1101 fulfills pledge to modernize state's public notice policy

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