Forum: Protecting the citizen’s right to know

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (ETSPJ) — To seek truth in reporting is one of the core foundations of the Society of Professional Journalists.

On Wednesday, October 25 at 7:00 p.m., Deborah Fisher, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government (TCOG), will review legislative changes to the public records act in the past three years, as well as some key court decisions regarding access. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Knox Room of the Knoxville News Sentinel, 2332 News Sentinel Drive. It is open to the public and anyone interested in open records issues is encouraged to attend.

The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, which is part of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, seeks to preserve, protect and improve citizen access to public information and open government in Tennessee through an alliance of citizens, journalists and civic groups. Since its inception in 2003, TCOG has provided training and presentations to more than 2,400 people and offered on-the-spot free guidance to more than 1,200 citizens and journalists. It has conducted research into open government issues, providing education to citizens, journalists and lawmakers.

Fisher has been executive director of TCOG since November 2013. She spent 25 years as a journalist, holding positions of reporter, city editor, business editor, managing editor and executive editor at newspapers in Texas and Tennessee. Most recently she worked for a decade for The Tennessean, where she was senior editor for news. She is also a past president of the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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