New $2M Grant Aims To Boost Open-records Efforts

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) ¿ Groups seeking more government transparency are getting a boost from a new grant.

The National Freedom of Information Coalition announced Monday a $2 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The three-year grant will fund court costs, filing fees, depositions and other expenses related to open-records requests.

The NFOIC, based at the University of Missouri journalism school in Columbia, says the grant will be crucial to stemming an expected drop in freedom of information advocacy because of the economic crisis.

A recent Coalition survey suggests open-records litigation will decline dramatically in the coming years, in part because struggling news outlets are reluctant to spend money fighting such cases.

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