Local governments in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties received more than 890 public records requests in 2018, according to an analysis by Spartan Newsroom. These requests were made by individuals, companies and organizations, who used the Michigan Freedom of Information Act to attempt to collect records held by local units of government.
What kinds of records are people asking for from area local governments?
That was one of the questions we aimed to answer as we mobilized students from four Michigan State University School of Journalism classes — three undergraduate public affairs reporting classes and a master’s level reporting class — to take on a joint project.
Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act requires most local and state governmental entities to provide public access to their records. But local governments often have different resources based on their size to respond to such requests by citizens.