Court rulings top CFOIC’s 2021 list of Colorado transparency highlights and lowlights, with the most impactful paving the way for a state law change that lets governments publicly name just one finalist for chief executive positions like university president, city manager and school superintendent.
A new Colorado law requires the public disclosure of police body-worn camera footage of incidents “in which there is a complaint of peace officer misconduct.” But what do journalists do when they want to request video, but no one has filed an official complaint?
Bookmark it. Use it. Share it. For the first time, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition’s sunshine laws guide is online — searchable and indexed by topic — with links to pertinent statutes and case law.
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.