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To protect and serve the common interests of its newsmedia members, to help members inform and thereby strengthen their communities, and to foster the highest ideals, ethics and traditions of journalism, a free press and the news profession.

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Capitol Update: Publishers win crucial advancements

Capitol Update: Publishers win crucial advancements

UnnamedFrom the Summer 2021 issue of California Publisher

News editors and publishers scored several crucial advancements during the current California legislative session. The industry defeated attempts to restrict access to public records and meetings, and its carriers are part of a bill now moving its way through the Senate that extends their AB 5 exemption for three more years.

CNPA joined with a host of allies to win support for bills to expand opportunities for the public to join public meetings and make public comment via telephonic or internet-based service options.

One of the greatest threats to reporting and public information was legislation proposed by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks). Her bill, AB 268, which would have automatically sealed all autopsy reports, was amended to give family members the authority to seal public autopsy records of relatives who died during a criminal act. The bill, sponsored by the County of Ventura, was a reaction to grief-stricken families whose loved ones were killed in the 2018 Borderline mass shooting.

As editorials across the state made clear, though the tragedy provoked great sympathy, Irwin’s proposed legislative response was misguided and unnecessarily broad. Assuaging grief by limiting access to records of public interest isn’t good public policy, they argued. More