December 12, 2007–Senate sponsors of a bipartisan Senate bill to strengthen agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) have crafted a compromise version and reintroduced it in hopes of speeding Congressional action.
December 12, 2007–SEJ President Timothy B. Wheeler testified before a full committee oversight hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee, that a proposed rule governing photography in National Park System units and Wildlife Refuges could restrict media access to these public lands and limit their coverage of natural resource issues.
November 28, 2007–The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing Dec. 12, 2007, to air concerns that proposed Interior Department rules requiring fees and permits for photography and sound recording on public lands could limit freedom of the press.
November 28, 2007–Shirley E. Scheier, a University of Washington fine-arts professor, was handcuffed, frisked, and detained for 44 minutes when she took some art photos of powerlines against the sky in Snohomish County, Washington.
November 28, 2007–The Oct. 18, 2007 issue of Congressional Research Service has published a useful backgrounder on the current lack of a "shield law" protecting reporters from legal penalties, including jail, when they refuse prosecutors' requests to disclose the identities of confidential sources.
November 28, 2007–Even as major companies recalled their shipments of hamburgers made with possibly tainted meat, beef and pork lobbyists worked hard to keep U.S meat eaters from finding out what was going on. They lobbied to amend the Farm Bill to include secrecy language that would make make it illegal for anyone to publicly disclose such information. SEJ and other journalism organization are urging senators to remove that language from the bill.
October 31, 2007–The AP reports that the conservation group Wildlands CPR has won a 2-year battle to get U.S. Forest Service records on damage caused by off-road vehicles and unmaintained roads in the West.
October 31, 2007–The Senate Agriculture Committee has written an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act for records in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The language, which is in the draft version of the Farm Bill and would prevent American meat eaters from knowing about any problems with their meat was introduced by farmers and members of the food industry.