Kansas reporter sues Marion police chief, alleging retaliation in newsroom raid

BY: - September 5, 2023

TOPEKA — Police Chief Gideon Cody arrived at the Marion County Record and handed a copy of a search warrant to Deb Gruver, the veteran reporter who had questioned him about alleged misconduct at his previous job. As Gruver read the search warrant, she told Cody she needed to call her publisher and editor, Eric […]

Palestine and Wheatley, Arkansas, shown on map. (Google Maps)

A rare FOIA victory in Arkansas, thanks to the determination of the Times-Herald

BY: - August 28, 2023

Last month, the Times-Herald newspaper in Forrest City won a criminal case against the Palestine-Wheatley School Board brought against its members for meeting in secret to interview a candidate for interim school superintendent. That’s some rare good news for enforcing Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act, which protects the public’s right to observe public officials in […]

Jerry Ryan delivers Wednesday's edition of the Marion County Record to distribution worker Bev Baldwin. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas newspaper raid draws plenty of attention, but journalists defy threats across U.S.

BY: - August 20, 2023

After Kansas Reflector reported on the ignominious and unconstitutional raid of the Marion County Record on Aug. 11, news outlets and commentators from across Kansas and the nation followed suit throughout the weekend. The voices of those who value a free press and free expression were overwhelming in their force and intensity. Eight days later, […]

Sen. Breanne Davis of Russellville, lead sponsor of Senate Bill 294, which would enact the governor’s education program, looks at Education Secretary Jacob Oliva, right, as he answers questions about the bill during a meeting of the Senate Education Committee Wednesday morning, Feb. 22, 2023, in Little Rock. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

From unconstitutional to outrageous

BY: - August 15, 2023

“Police stage ‘chilling’ raid on Marion County newspaper, seizing computers, records and cellphones” – Kansas Reflector headline on Friday, Aug. 11. “Arkansas education department nixes AP African American Studies course at last minute” – Arkansas Times headline on Saturday, Aug. 12.   Those two headlines refer to separate events but encompass a single theme — […]

The Society of Professional Journalists offered $20,000 to aid the legal defense of the Marion County Record, which was raided by local law enforcement Friday based on allegations the newspaper engaged in identity theft to secure information about a local merchant's drunken driving conviction. The Kansas newspaper says the information was legally obtained and the police search was illegal. (Sam Bailey/Kansas Reflector)

Newspaper’s lawyer chastises police for treating newspaper as ‘drug cartel,’ ‘street gang’

BY: - August 14, 2023

TOPEKA — An attorney representing the Marion County Record in the wake of a raid of the newspaper’s office urged Marion law enforcement officials to stop short of examining computers and other seized property pending a court hearing on whether the search violated legal standards. Bernie Rhodes, a lawyer from Kansas City, Missouri, said in […]

The staff of the Arkansas Advocate, from left: senior reporter Antoinette Grajeda, editor-in-chief Sonny Albarado, deputy editor Hunter Field, and reporter Tess Vrbin.

Arkansas Advocate staff win regional journalism awards

BY: - July 3, 2023

The Arkansas Advocate’s editor-in-chief won a Diamond Journalism Award for commentary and two Advocate staffers were named finalists in the annual regional journalism contest. Sonny Albarado won the commentary award for a series of columns he wrote for the Advocate in 2022. The Advocate, an online-only news site, launched on Aug. 16, 2022. Deputy Editor […]