The Los Angeles Times has begun a novel, crowd sourced public records repository where the paper archives source documents obtained by its reporters alongside documents submitted by the general public. To submit a document, readers can either mail the record to the paper or attach it to an e-mail addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once submitted (and accepted), the paper posts the records it receives here. The paper also hosts a very detailed primer on the California Public Records Act at the site. This site (and those of other major papers if they follow suit) is a wonderful resource for finding letters, studies and other attachments that are referenced in news coverage but seldom released beyond the press corps. These types of sites will also be useful for getting quick access to records that are normally only available pursuant to a written request. A couple of examples of records currently posted at the site:
- A report from the City of Glendale (CA) on how the city is spending American Recovery Act funds.
- A letter from USC President C.L. Max Nikias warning students about attending raves.
- California's proposed 2011-2012 state budget.
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