A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

FOI In-Brief

By Quill

Iowa county to lower fees for photocopies

Polk County, Iowa, settled with The Des Moines Register in August in a lawsuit the Register had filed to fight the fee the county recorder was charging for photocopies. The county also said it would pay the newspaper’s $5,000 in legal expenses. When the Register filed its suit against County Recorder Timothy Brien in June, it accused the office, which processes real estate documents, of making the public pay too much for copies. As part of the county’s settlement with the newspaper, Brien said he would lower the photocopying fee from $1.40 to 50 cents per page. The county also agreed to stop mandating that photocopy customers reveal their names by signing a log book. Brien had been charging $1.75 a page for photocopies until March, when the Register began raising objections. Brien responded by lowering the per-page fee to $1.40. The lawsuit noted that the Polk County clerk of court’s office charges 50 cents per page and the Iowa Supreme Court charges 10 cents less than that. Kinko’s, a commercial copying and printing business, charges 7 cents a page to let customers make their own photocopies. The Register sued after it failed to get the county attorney’s office and Attorney General Tom Miller’s staff to intercede in the disagreement.

Philly coach reinstates press after photo dispute

Philadelphia football coach Andy Reid shut out and then invited back a newspaper and four television stations during his training camp Aug. 21. The media outlets’ crime – taking to the air the previous day to watch the Eagles try out the new artificial turf at Veterans Stadium. At least four area stations broadcast footage of the practice taken from their helicopters. The Philadelphia Daily News also ran aerial photos of the scene. Reid, who had denied reporters access to the practice and told players not to give out information about the turf, reacted by banning all five news outlets from team practices until further notice. But Reid’s embargo only lasted about six hours. All the reporters were asked back to attend a 3 p.m. news conference, and team representatives said all journalists would be allowed to see future practices.