Getting Feedback on San Diego’s NextRequest System

Have you used the city of San Diego’s NextRequest system to seek public records recently? If so, the San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists wants your help.

In March 2016, the city of San Diego implemented a system called NextRequest to handle public records requests sent to the city. The goal, NextRequest said, was to help boost “transparency and openness.” Since its launch, NextRequest has received more than 5,300 requests for records, according to city data. For local journalists and other members of the public, the system has become a vital tool when seeking information about city government operations.

Now San Diego SPJ wants to assess how NextRequest is working. How is the system performing? How could it be improved? Take this survey and let us know.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

The results from this survey will be published on the San Diego SPJ website. We expect to also use the information to start a conversation with city officials about potential improvements, and perhaps as fodder for a panel discussion. Providing your name or contact information is optional. We will not share your contact information with city officials.

Access to public records is your right. Your input will help us determine if the system is working properly for everyone in our community who seeks information on our local government.

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San Diego SPJ responds to KPBS reporter’s blog post

The San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists commends Jean Guerrero for speaking out in this blog post about her experience at a recent news conference.

We remind our colleagues that the SPJ Code of Ethics states in part that journalists should: “Expose unethical conduct in journalism … [and] abide by the same high standards they expect of others.” We encourage all journalists to behave professionally, in accordance with these principles.

Join us for a discussion on covering homelessness

Homelessness continues to be one of San Diego’s greatest public policy and humanitarian challenges. And with the county’s hepatitis A outbreak, news coverage of the crisis has only increased. How have journalists reported on our region’s homeless population and what myths persist? What data and reporting approaches can help elevate the stories they pursue?

Join San Diego SPJ for a wide-ranging discussion with:

Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune

Kelly Davis, freelance reporter

Lisa Halverstadt, Voice of San Diego

Susan Murphy, KPBS

When: 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, October 19

Where: California Western School of Law, 350 Cedar Street, Lecture Hall 2, San Diego, CA 92101

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/covering-homelessness-tickets-38639525862

SD-SPJ advocates for transparency

This week, the Society of Professional Journalist’s San Diego chapter sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown urging him to sign SB 345, proposed state legislation that would require police to post policies, training materials, and more online. You can read up on the bill here.

Here’s what San Diego SPJ board member Tom Jones wrote on the board’s behalf:

My name is Tom Jones and I am a San Diego journalist and a board member of the Society of Professional Journalist’s San Diego chapter. I am writing this letter on behalf of the San Diego board, urging the governor to sign SB 345 into law.

California has the opportunity through SB 345 to lead the nation toward greater transparency in law enforcement policies, protocols, and training materials. Publishing these materials online would help law enforcement educate the public about how they operate and best serve the people they represent. The process of obtaining these materials through the California Public Records Act (CPRA) can be arduous, especially when reporting on events that directly involve these policies and procedures. SB 345 would assist the public and journalists by giving access to this information without the need of a CPRA request. Law enforcement would also benefit, as they would not have the task of having to release this information while dealing with other topics being reported on.

Signing SB 345 into law would be an important step toward the state recognizing the necessity of law enforcement transparency while providing a great example to other states.