Public records track: A guide to get the goods

  • Event: 2019 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Ellen Gabler of The New York Times; Joseph Larsen of Gregor Cassidy PLLC; Miranda Spivack of independent journalist
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 13 at 2:30pm
  • Location: Texas G
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Get practical advice on how to craft better public records requests and figure out what to do when officials say "No." Includes strategies for determining what to request, dealing with excuses and obstacles from government agencies, and shooting down stratospheric cost estimates and inevitable claims of exemption. We'll also share tips on staying organized so you don't lose track of your requests. 

This session is sponsored by the TEGNA Foundation. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

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

  • Joe Larsen is a partner in Houston with Gregor Cassidy PLLC. Mr. Larsen has extensive experience regarding all aspects of media representation.  He is a board member and chair of the review committee for the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and recipient of FOIFT’s 2010 James Madison Award. He was 2012-13 Chair, ABA/TIPS Media, Privacy and Defamation Law Committee.

    • Miranda Spivack is a Journalist in Residence at the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida. She has been an advising editor for, 2019 Fulbright Scholar in North Macedonia, independent journalist, New York Times. Former DePauw U Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Journalism Professor.  2017 SPJ Sunshine Award for “State Secrets,” on state and local government secrecy. Former editor ,reporter for Washington Post. In 2013, named best local government reporter by the Md, Del.,DC Press Association. @mirandareporter

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