Always appeal: Fighting public records battles

  • Event: 2019 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Jason Leopold of BuzzFeed News; Katie Townsend of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Mar. 9 at 4:45pm
  • Location: Salon D
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Fighting for public records often involves lengthy and frustrating battles. But don't let that intimidate you -- always go through the appeals process available under state law or the federal Freedom of Information Act. Hear from reporter and "FOIA terrorist" Jason Leopold and experienced media attorney Katie Townsend how you can prepare for these battles and see them through to get what you want.

Speaker Bios

  • Jason Leopold is an Emmy nominated investigative reporter on the BuzzFeed News investigations team and a member of the reporting team named a 2018 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting and the recipient of the Tom Renner award from Investigative Reporters and Editors for the same series. He is also a recipient of the IRE FOI award and was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame by the First Amendment Coalition and Newseum.

  • Katie Townsend (@katie_rcfp) is the Legal Director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.  She oversees the litigation, amicus, and other legal work of Reporters Committee attorneys, and represents the Reporters Committee, news organizations, and individual journalists in court access, freedom of information, and other First Amendment and press freedom matters.

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