Harris, Pamela

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-12-2020


The Freedom of Information Act first went into effect in 1967 and was intended to give the general public of the United States more access to information and documents held by government entities. Since enactment, this act has given specifically journalists a means of approach to request previously undisclosed or hard to access materials including, but not limited to, police reports, body camera footage, court filings, budgets, salaries, and other documents held by various government offices. While there are restrictions with considerations such as national security, this access can be seen on national, state, and, as assessed in this research, local governments. This research analyzes the processes of requesting police reports in the college towns of Athens, Georgia and Collegedale, Tennessee, both of whose approaches differ likely due to the nature of the towns’ locations, sizes, and available resources.