National Archives to Host Conference on Media Access to Government Information April 12

The following News Release is from the National Archives:

William G. McGowan Theatre

Washington, DC: The National Archives and Records Administration and Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy will host the Media Access to Government Information Conference (MAGIC) on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011, from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., with a networking reception from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. The event will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, located on the National Mall. Please use the Special Events Entrance, Constitution Ave. and 7th St., NW. This conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required (e-mail A continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments will be provided.

Journalists, bloggers and others who write about public affairs will gain insights and learn strategies for improving access to government records. Experts from within the Federal government and from the private sector will provide roadmaps to the often frustrating and challenging task of tracking down government information.

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will welcome the participants. Government officials, reporters, scholars and NGO leaders who will participate in the discussions include: Gary Bass, Founder and Executive Director, OMB Watch; Sarah Cohen, Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy, Duke University; William Kammer, Chief, FOIA Division, U.S. Department of Defense, and Vice President, American Society of Access Professionals; Miriam Nisbet, Director, Office of Government Information Services, National Archives; Derek Willis, Web developer, New York Times; Jennifer LaFleur, Director of Computer-Assisted Reporting, ProPublica; Mark Horvit, Executive Director, Investigative Reporters and Editors; and Charles Lewis, Executive Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop.

The conference will address the following issues:

  • Improving access to federal government records;
  • Analyzing technical challenges faced by journalists in making sense of government documents;
  • Exploring hurdles to gaining access to state and local records;
  • Identifying actions that the private sector can take to help journalists access and analyze government records.

More information about the conference:

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (, writes daily at, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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