GFAF in the News

The Georgia First Amendment Foundation is a resource to media organizations throughout Georgia. Here are some of the latest news stories featuring GFAF sources. To request information or an interview, please contact us at info@gfaf.orgPhoto above courtesy of Casey Sykes/AJC.



Atlanta Journal-Constitution: College Park’s underhanded decision: Approving a zoning change without proper public notice seems sneaky

WANF-TV Atlanta News First: Gov. Kemp signs bill increasing restrictions for teens on social media

Savannah Morning News: Kemp signs bill restricting children’s access to social media, ignites concerns over privacy

LOCAL 3-TV: Catoosa County Election Commission prohibited recording devices in meeting, going against state law

AJC: Did College Park violate the law in approving battery storage plant?


Daily Report: Change to first-offender law would enable corruption cover-

AJC: Putting a black box around government contracts

Georgia Recorder: School social media ban multiplies censorship

Axios: Cobb schools criticized for cutting off media outlet

Axios: Georgia transparency law exempts General Assembly

Axios: How to use Georgia’s transparency laws

Georgia Recorder: Increasing no-bid government contracts would reduce transparency


Georgia Recorder: Georgia lawmakers hold out hope for bill that would restrict publication of mugshots

Atlanta Civic Circle: Does Georgia’s bill banning “deepfakes” go too far?

Georgia Recorder: Georgia Senate panel OKs bill to erase personal information of judges from public records

Georgia Recorder: New chapter in Georgia GOP lawmakers’ quest to restrict access to public school library books

Associated Press: Georgia Senate considers controls on school libraries and criminal charges for librarians


Georgia Recorder: Republican state lawmakers push for Georgia law to require proof of adulthood to view adult websites

Newsweek: Donald Trump’s mug shot would be blocked under new bill

WXIA-TV: New bill could curb the release of mug shots in Georgia

Georgia Recorder: Wild Hog Supper 2024 kicks off season of Georgia legislative events



Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Judge rules against Appen Media in Sandy Springs police records suit

Rough Draft: Judge rules against Appen Media in suit against Sandy Springs over Open Records Act 

Saporta Report: Georgia’s medical cannabis licensing secrecy prevails as critics predict a legislative fix 

AJC: ‘Radical’ podcast digs deep into convicted civil rights activist’s story


AJC: Appeals court delays release of Rome PFAS settlement records

WXIA-TV: Yes, a Georgia school can remove a book without alerting the public

Saporta Report: First Amendment Foundation celebrates Mary Margaret Oliver


Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The Jolt: Weltner winner

AJC: Georgia’s plan to expand Medicaid enrolls fewer than 2,000 so far

Sandy Springs Crier: Opinion: Why we pursue a case that never should have happened

Saporta Report: State rep, library group to receive awards at Georgia First Amendment Foundation banquet

Georgia Public Broadcasting: McIntosh County cancels next board meeting, one month after violating Georgia’s open meetings law

Decaturish: Georgia First Amendment Foundation plans to honor Decatur Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver


AJC: Rome will receive $75 million from 3M to settle PFAS pollution case

AJC: Training center petitions posted on Atlanta city website after initial glitch

Georgia Recorder: Georgia AG shrugs off open records violations but demands local DAs enforce all laws equally

AJC: Roswell’s $250K payment to consulting firm scrutinized

Rome News-Tribune: ‘Outrageous’: Open records proponents say Dupont motion to block settlement publication unprecedented

AJC: Chemical firms sue Rome and AJC to block PFAS settlement terms release


AJC: Roswell to vote on Canton Street task force


AJC: Questions of transparency in Roswell city government

AJC: Anger grows as Georgia panel further cuts diversity from teacher prep rules


Georgia Recorder: Investigators say Forsyth book bans may have created ‘hostile environment’ for students

WSB-TV: Judge rules in favor of Milton man who filed ethics complaint against city council member

AJC: Sandy Springs sued over open records, accused of withholding police reports

Daily Report: Ga. Supreme Court urged to unseal medical marijuana judicial records

CNHI News: Group makes another push to courts to unseal medical cannabis records

Saporta Report: Atlanta pays $105K to settle journalist’s arrest lawsuit as protest cases mount

Georgia Recorder: New challenge filed asking court to open up Georgia’s secretive medical cannabis records

Axios: DeKalb BOE member accused of violating policy by divulging superintendent search details


Saporta Report: Training center task force to hold first public meeting next week amid transparency concerns


FOX 5-TV Atlanta: Lawsuit claims Ga. medical cannabis bids were full of fraud and corruption

AJC: Roswell proposes requiring in-person pickup of open record requests

WABE/AP: Georgia, other states shield addresses of judges, workers after threats

WSB-TV: Milton man out $30K so far after filing ethics complaint against city council member

CNHI News: Crossover Day in Georgia: Bills advance to next chamber

Georgia Recorder: One bill to redact government employees’ information from public records falls short

Georgia Recorder: Plan to shield government officials’ personal info from public records sweeps Ga. Senate


AJC: Georgia bills would prevent disclosure of records involving public employees

FOX 5-TV Atlanta: Georgia Senate committee approves bills to redact public employees’ information

Daily Report: Students, educators, attorneys in crossfire of laws impacting free speech in schools, libraries

Daily Report: Georgia conference to include panels on mental health, abortion, courts

CNHI News: Judge denies request to unseal medical cannabis documents, legislative fix proposed

Georgia Recorder: Secrecy in Georgia’s medical cannabis regulation still frustrates efforts to deliver relief to patients

AJC: Duncan, Miller led delegation to Europe before leaving office


CNHI News: Ga. cannabis commission requests more funds to cover protest costs

Georgia Recorder: Ga. House, Senate adopt ‘problematic’ rules that reduce public accountability

Moultrie Observer: Judge to decide on unsealing Georgia medical cannabis records



Saporta Report: Stanley Awards for Ga.’s worst suppressions of First Amendment and open government

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: State agency admits use of encrypted message app


Daily Report: First Amendment Foundation Honors Cox Enterprises, Hanson at Weltner Awards Event

Saporta Report: With a new General Assembly elected, beware of bills assaulting the First Amendment

AJC: DeKalb public records on code enforcement in disarray

Op-ed: Growing mistrust instead of medical cannabis

AJC: Transparency advocates concerned PSC’s directive could violate state law


AJC: Cox family honored for contributions to open government, local journalism


WFXG-TV (Augusta): Documents show Mayor Davis’ attempts to limit cameras in the courtroom


Georgia Recorder: State subpoenas media texts and emails from critic of Georgia electronic voting system


Georgia Recorder: University system ends era of free-speech zones on Georgia’s college campuses


WSB-TV: IT problems hobble DeKalb County code enforcement


AJC: Opinion: Georgians deserve variety of voices in their libraries

Valdosta Daily Times: Lawmakers want to take the ‘local’ out of our libraries

Georgia Recorder: Georgia lawmakers want to take the ‘local’ out of our libraries

State Affairs: Lack of Virtual Access to Public Meetings Denies Millions of Georgians a Voice


AJC: Ahmaud Arbery case: defense and prosecuting attorneys reflect on murder trial

Daily Report: Georgia Conference to Include AG Candidate Interviews, Arbery Panel

WMAZ-TV (Macon): When is it legal for Georgia government organizations to go into executive session?


Saporta Report: Public safety training center advisory committee responds to debate with ban on members talking to media

Saporta Report: Cityhood efforts, development authorities need more transparency, lawmakers say

Georgia Recorder: New Cobb city proposals gain momentum despite qualms of some leaders

Georgia Recorder: Critics say Georgia bill intended to ease school library book bans a ‘slippery slope’

AJC: Cobb students push to speak to school board without parent permission

AJC: By and for the people? Georgia lawmaking sometimes limits access




Georgia Recorder: Georgia Secretary of State sues Justice Department over voting records delay


Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia election officials required to improve public records compliance


Georgia Recorder: Ga. Supreme Court gets case challenging lawmakers’ arrests at state Capitol

Reason: No heckler’s veto: Georgia Supreme Court won’t rehear case rejecting nuisance verdict

Georgia Public Broadcasting: Atlanta mayoral candidates who tout transparency have disclosure problems of their own


AJC: DeKalb audit raises questions about transparency

WSB-TV: DeKalb County not releasing findings on security of employee information

The Current: Glynn commissioners flout open meetings law to push manager pick


WMAZ-TV: The public needs to know what’s happening in the courts


Georgia Recorder: Ga. lawmakers study ways to balance ‘Big Tech’ bans vs. business rights

Associated Press: Judge to hear arguments in Georgia election law challenge


Saporta Report: Atlanta city clerk to halt removal of candidates’ info from documents after legal questions

Marietta Daily Journal: After violating Sunshine Laws, Cobb school board calls for special meeting

AJC: Cobb County schools budget hearing beset by ‘technical difficulties’

Reason: No heckler’s veto: Court reverses nuisance verdict chiefly based on actions of protesters and arsonists

AJC: Court throws out $1.4 million verdict against Marietta abortion clinic

Daily Report: Court of Appeals tosses ‘nuisance’ verdict against abortion clinic


AJC: As pandemic raged, Georgia public health advisory board failed to meet


WMAZ-TV: Macon District Attorney’s Office promises records on 63 ‘released’ inmates


AJC: Pandemic changes public meetings for good

Gainesville Times: Two cybersecurity bills could mean the public knows less about cyberattacks

Georgia Recorder: Will knowing less about cyberattacks really make Georgians safer?

WSB-TV: Experts say bills will make it easier for government to hide cyberattack details

Flagpole: Open Records Complaint Filed Against CCSD

Athens Banner-Herald: Parent complaint against Clarke County School District filed, requests more COVID-19 data

WSB-TV: 3 Johns Creek officers off the job for allegedly leaking information to metro reporter


WSB-TV: State complaint filed against school system over COVID-19 data request

CNN: Republican legislators around the country seek to strip governors and officials of emergency election powers

Georgia Recorder: Melton to step down after leading Georgia courts through COVID crisis

AJC: Fulton elections board makes ‘invalid’ vote to fire elections director


AJC: Ga. health officials won’t say where UK coronavirus variant has surfaced in state

AJC: Metro area schools weigh burden of reopening policies amid COVID-19

Atlanta Magazine: Yes, it’s legal to record a phone call in Georgia without telling the other person



WSB-TV: City of Atlanta refuses to answer whether it was impacted by massive computer attack

Clayton Crescent: Forest Park council, boards vote to upgrade meeting livestreams

Reason: Heckler’s veto: $1.5 million nuisance verdict against abortion clinic, chiefly based on actions of protesters and arsonists

WSB-TV: Ga. Board of Education withholds information on spending irregularities a year after report is complete


Reporter Newspapers: As Civic Dinners booms, some question diversity, open meetings issues

Washington Post: Robin Kemp lost her news job in Clayton County — but she kept reporting the news. It paid off on election week.


East Cobb News: Cobb school board returns to in-person meetings

Center Square Georgia: Cost can be high to obtain public records in Georgia


AJC: Public comment cut from live Cobb school board meeting again

AJC: Georgia demands $22,434 for COVID-19 records, says they’ll be ready next spring


Augusta Chronicle: Augusta officials call, cancel CARES Act meeting

WSB-TV: Texts suggest former Johns Creek police chief held out for larger settlement to leave department

AJC: Cobb schools cut public comments from live, virtual meeting

AJC: Georgia keeps key virus information from public

AJC: With few details, DeKalb Schools approves contract to ease crowding


Reporter Newspapers: Buckhead Coalition rethinks its mission

Valdosta Daily Times: County hides behind closed doors

Georgia Health News: Health agency stalling on requests for COVID-19 emails, critics say

Publication of commentary First Amendment rights spark justice and seed change in Georgia


Augusta Chronicle: Augusta attorney ‘frustrated’ release of husband’s deleted emails seeking city work

Valdosta Daily Times: Disclose health data clearly

Athens Banner-Herald: State COVID data ‘opaque’ as infections rise in Georgia

Georgia Public Broadcasting: Experts say Georgia’s data on COVID-19 seems lacking

Valdosta Daily Times: Law enforcement detains two journalists covering Atlanta protests


Georgia Recorder: Middle Georgia federal court affirms right to record in public spaces

WMAZ: Citizen journalist says he was arrested for filming in city hall lobby


Publication of commentary Recalibrating the balance: Increasing transparency around COVID-19 while still respecting privacy

In Georgia:

Around the nation:


Marietta Daily Journal: A pandemic doesn’t mean the end of open government, experts agree

Valdosta Daily Times: Experts address how to comply with open meetings laws amid pandemic

Insider Advantage: Legislature should be covered by Open Records Act

AJC: Municipalities weighing public access, safety at government meetings

Valdosta Daily Times: Transparency town hall set for Monday: How to keep public meetings open in an emergency

Georgia Recorder: Government transparency in the time of coronavirus; virtual meeting tips

AJC: State of emergency: Coronavirus changes how local governments meet

Reporter Newspapers: Sandy Springs Council halts most ‘non-essential’ city decision-making during pandemic

Valdosta Daily Times: It’s always your right to know

Reporter Newspapers: New Sandy Springs police shooting details revealed; AG says city was wrong to withhold reports


Rome News-Tribune: Bills pushed to give Georgians with criminal histories a second chance


Valdosta Daily Times: Bill may broaden sealing records

Valdosta Daily Times: First Amendment advocates warn of media oversight

AJC: Atlanta audit committee’s private meetings an apparent violation of law

Valdosta Daily Times: Zachary: Lawmakers can show First Amendment support



AJC: Atlanta mayor orders restriction of access to pot conviction records

The Center Square: Former Atlanta mayor’s staffer to stand trial for violating Georgia’s Open Records Act

Valdosta Daily Times: Zachary First Amendment Foundation president

Atlanta Magazine: Flashback: The Georgia Representative who gave up Congress to oppose segregation

WSB-TV: Trial for former press secretary set to begin soon


Reporter Newspapers: First DeKalb airport meeting after fatal crash lacked public notice, may have violated Open Meetings Act


Daily Report: First Amendment group honors late Chief Justice Hines

Georgia Recorder: Ga First Amendment group honors late Chief Justice Harris Hines

Union Recorder: Red Book catalogs Georgia open government laws

AJC: Atlanta unveils new policy to improve compliance with open records laws


Marietta Daily Journal: Chastain: Comment ban stemmed from increasing partisanship

Daily Report: First Amendment Foundation to honor late Chief Justice Hines


Moultrie Observer: Open government, better government


AJC: Media group sues Roswell for full access to crime reports

The New York Times: “Drag this out as long as possible”: Former official faces rare criminal charges under open-records law

WSB-TV: Mayor Reed’s former press secretary will not accept plea bargain


Valdosta Daily Times: Don’t be caught without your Red Book


WSB-TV: Every public agency in the state must follow open records law — except one

The Marietta Daily Journal: Cobb BoE strikes down Howard’s move to include public comment in minutes


The Guardian: Georgia lawmakers consider bill that takes aim at state’s journalists

Washington Post: A board to oversee Georgia journalists sounds like Orwellian fiction. The proposal is all too real.

Valdosta Daily Times: Fettered press not a free press

AJC: Georgia House Republicans file bill to create state Journalism Ethics Board


Valdosta Daily Times: First Amendment Foundation promotes transparency with newly elected officials

Chattanooga Times Free Press: These Georgia bills could ban secret recordings, severely restrict abortions, allow the state to take over the airport and more. Are they still alive?

WSB-TV: State attorney general’s office criticizes DeKalb school board plan to hold secret meeting about spending


 WABE: Former Reed aide accused of open records violations: A talk with 1st Amendment attorney

Daily Report: Kasim Reed’s former spokeswoman charged with open records violations

Augusta Chronicle: Attorney General prosecuting Atlanta employee over open records requests could have Augusta implications

WSB-TV: Mayor Reed’s former press secretary criminally charged with open records violations

The Union-Recorder: Secret recordings can protect public right to know

Chattanooga Times Free Press: Georgia Senator’s proposed secret recordings ban draws questions, public response

AJC: Georgia bill would have barred taping that helped sink Cagle campaign

Forsyth County News: Why the Forsyth County fire department has decided to encrypt its radios, and why that concerns First Amendment expert

Reporter Newspapers: Fear rises as GDOT eyes back yards, houses for toll lanes


Savannah Morning News: Editorial – Legislature should open records, meetings

WSB-TV: The First Amendment Foundation says a school system shouldn’t hide info from the public

AJC: Nonprofit hospitals under pressure over transparency, charity




AJC: Public’s access to records still a challenge for metro Atlanta agencies

Valdosta Daily Times: EDITORIAL: Public must be notified of called meetings

Brechner Center: “Big [expletive] problem”: a battle over open records in Atlanta


Georgia State Signal: From the Editor: Why and how to request public records

AJC: Banned No More: Georgia city backs down on lifetime banishment for two

AJC: CNN sues White House to regain Jim Acosta’s press credentials

AJC: Can a city ban a woman it deems a nuisance? One in Georgia is trying


Georgia Health News: Northside suffers another legal setback in fight over its records

WSB-TV: WSB, AJC donate legal fees won from suit against city to Georgia First Amendment Foundation

Daily Report:  First Amendment group honors judge for transparency

AJC: AJC, Channel 2 donate $80,000 to support government transparency

WSB-TV: City of Atlanta settles abuse of open records claims with AJC, WSB-TV


AJC: Opinion: Welcome moves toward transparency

WSB-TV: Group dedicated to easy access to open records approves of new law

Daily Report: Judge Bodiford honored for open courtrooms

Marietta Daily Journal: Cobb Superior Court judge wins freedom of information award


AJC: Buford schools apologizes over slurs in tape

AJC: Bottoms releases summary of investigation into disputed $40k payment


AJC: Watchdogs: Atlanta skirting records law in probe of $40,000 payment


AJC: Payday lending group loses lawsuit over record release

WSB-TV: Atlanta City Hall does not face criminal charges in records probe


AJC: Were Rosanne Barr’s free speech rights violated when Disney fired her?

AJC: Failure to release subpoena may have broken Georgia records law

WSB-TV: Open records advocates say GBI’s criminal investigation into City of Atlanta pointing higher and higher


WSB-TV: Texts show top Reed aide pressured officials to delay records release

AJC: Two AGs known for transparency hired in Atlanta open records case

GSU Signal: Will governor sign campus speech bill?

AJC: Georgia’s top candidates: Make harassment complaints publicly available


Daily Report: First Amendment group seeks fix to e-filing legislation as it nears a vote

AJC: Torpy at Large: The stench of Atlanta City Hall’s “POO” strategy

Chattanooga Times Free Press: Catoosa County’s use of executive session questionable

AJC: Federal lawsuit targets Georgia policy blocking gun control protest

Dalton Daily Citizen-News: Jim Zachary: Open government is the best government

WSB-TV: “Drag this out”: Texts reveal Reed administration’s effort to keep public records from WSB

WALB News 10: GA Supreme Court vacates Grinstead gag order


Milledgeville Union-Recorder: EDITORIAL: Keep lottery transparent

Daily Report: Bar tackles sex harassment, fake news and gun control

KSU Sentinel: Georgia Supreme Court case involving KSU study could have impact on open record laws

AJC: Court hears arguments about open records in payday loans case

AJC: Georgia Senate passes bill that would give lottery winners anonymity

The Brunswick News: News groups’ petition to court is right


AJC: The Jolt 1/29

Decaturish: Open government advocates question alteration of Avondale City Manager’s contract