A judge threw out a defamation lawsuit against the Weekly Register-Call newspaper in Black Hawk, applying a 2019 state law that established an expedited process for dismissing civil suits targeting free expression.
Not discussed in that House committee hearing: Some news organizations in Colorado are acting on that sentiment, establishing policies that let story subjects formally ask that their names be removed from long-ago articles that live online indefinitely.
The 2021 Colorado legislative session produced a mixed bag of good and not-so-good developments for those concerned about government transparency.
One change will impact the release of body-worn and dashboard camera footage, and another might help mitigate the loss of public information caused by the encryption of police radio transmissions. Two additional provisions address public access to records of completed police internal affairs investigations and lists of officers who have credibility issues.
State representatives inserted a provision addressing police radio encryption into a law-enforcement accountability measure that builds on the major police reform bill passed in 2020.
Legislation creating an online media-literacy resource bank for Colorado public schools appears close to passing the General Assembly over the objections of some Republicans who say the measure is a governmental intrusion on free speech.
Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition president Steve Zansberg and Denver Post investigative reporter David Migoya are co-recipients of this year’s First Amendment Award from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Colorado Pro Chapter for work that prompted a new statewide standard for sealing and suppressing criminal court records.
State legislation designed to reduce collateral consequences for people with criminal records would hinder the ability of news organizations to identify systemic problems in the criminal justice system and hold public officials accountable, journalists told Colorado lawmakers.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition presented its highest honor, the Jean Otto Friend of Freedom Award, to the founders of the Colorado News Collaborative, an innovative local media resource hub that is helping to strengthen local journalism statewide.
A bill “intended to spark conversation” about the power of digital communications platforms emerged from a Colorado Senate committee Tuesday with language requiring a study of how state lawmakers might address online consumer issues including privacy, the spread of disinformation and the promotion of violence.