ONA Weekly #21

By on August 20, 2014

 ONA Weekly No. 21

Ferguson, Mo., events spark statement, journalist ‘help kit’

ONA joined The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) and a coalition of 47 national media organizations in a letter to state officials objecting to the treatment of reporters during the recent events in Ferguson, Mo., that followed the police shooting of Michael Brown. RCFP is also using the Twitter handle #fmomediahotline to publicize other incidents of interference; it will be monitoring this tag, and we encourage others to, as well. More help is available through a hotline for journalists, and a short list of attorneys who can offer legal assistance.

Google ordered to unseal documents without redacting

In a major victory for press access, on Aug. 6, Google was ordered to unseal the majority of documents sought in a Feb. 19 brief joined by ONA relating to a class-action civil suit against the search engine giant in which users of its gmail service accused the company of violating wiretap laws. The court held that Google, and companies like it, must offer “compelling reasons” for the sealing of documents filed in support of or opposition to class certification, and that the transcript of the class certification hearing held in open court, which Google had sought to redact, cannot be redacted retroactively. Watch for updates on where to access the documents.

Joint letter calls on Obama for more transparency

In a July 8 letter to President Obama, ONA joined the Society for Professional Journalists and nearly three dozen other news media organizations to urge the administration to be more transparent in how it deals with journalists. Specifically, the letter expressed frustration that “public agencies have increasingly prohibited staff from communicating with journalists unless they go through public affairs offices or through political appointees.” The letter calls on the administration to reverse these policies.

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Jeremiah Patterson

Jeremiah was ONA's Digital Manager from 2012 to the fall of 2016 and was responsible for ONA's collection of websites, including journalists.org, conference websites, the membership center, awards platforms and more. Before joining ONA, he served as a web producer and content developer at The Wildlife Society, maintaining the organization’s website, email marketing and other online services. An Ohio native and media enthusiast, Jeremiah grew up with a deep interest in video production and graphic design. He now focuses in user experience and human-centered design.