They've got it, you want it: Getting data and docs

  • Event: 2016 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Rich Orman of District Attorney, 18th Judicial District (Colorado); Jeff Roberts of Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition; Steve Zansberg of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP; Ellen Gabler of The New York Times
  • Date/Time: Friday, Mar. 11 at 11:30am
  • Location: Colorado F
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

**Moderated by Ellen Gabler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

We've all been there: They've got the data but say you can't have it. What techniques can you use to coax information out of officials? We’ll discuss practical tips on how to negotiate and speed things along – limiting your request, cutting fees, citing statutes. You'll hear from a panel of records experts including a journalist turned director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, a veteran media attorney and a district attorney who was prosecutor for the Aurora theater shooting trial. They’ll also weigh in on which tactics from reporters actually work: Persistence? Yes. Rudeness? Hmmm.

Read a recap of this session on the CAR Conference blog

 

Speaker Bios

  • Ellen Gabler is an investigative reporter at The New York Times. Before joining the Times, she worked at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a reporter and deputy investigations editor. A native of Eau Claire, Wis. Gabler is a graduate of Emory University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is a former IRE board member. @egabler

  • Rich Orman is Senior Deputy District Attorney, 18th Judicial District. He is  supervisor of the  Appeals Unit, which is in charge of public records requests. Rich testified as an expert witness regarding Colorado public records laws in two cases. Trial prosecutor, Aurora Theater Shooting trial.

  • Jeff Roberts worked in journalism and public policy before joining the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition as executive director in 2013. He was at The Denver Post from 1984-2007 as a reporter, editor and data journalism specialist and later worked at the University of Denver’s Center for Colorado’s Economic Future. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University and is on the board of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. @CoFOIC

  • Steve Zansberg is a First Amendment and Media Law attorney in the Denver office of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP. He has represented journalists and news organizations in defending claims, fighting subpoenas, and gaining access to government held information, for 20 years. Steve has been recognized as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in the area of First Amendment Law. He also serves as the President of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.

Related Tipsheets

  • Getting Your Hands on Government Data and Documents
    We've all been there: They've got the data but say you can't have it. What techniques can you use to coax information out of officials? We’ll discuss practical tips on how to negotiate and speed things along – limiting your request, cutting fees, citing statutes. You'll hear from a panel of records experts including a journalist turned director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, a veteran media attorney and a district attorney who was prosecutor for the Aurora theater shooting trial. They’ll also weigh in on which tactics from reporters actually work: Persistence? Yes. Rudeness? Hmmm.