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Today's Interview: UK to host Freedom of Information meeting Thursday night

Al Cross is the director of UK's Institute of Rural Journalism and a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.
University of Kentucky
Al Cross is the director of UK's Institute of Rural Journalism and a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

Al Cross is the director of UK’s Rural Journalism Institute. He said one of the topics of Thursday night’s meeting at UK's Gatton Student Center will be a 2021 opinion by the office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron that critics say was a step in the wrong direction.

“Government officials can get on their personal devices, text or email, if they're using their private accounts, and conduct business in secret, without any right of the journalist or the public to find those records.”

The University of Kentucky Gatton Student Center will host a free, public meeting about government officials’ efforts to hide their work from the public Thursday night.

In a statement, Cameron’s office wrote, “The Kentucky Attorney General’s office has repeatedly admonished state agencies not to conduct public business on private devices, as has Judge Wingate in a 2022 order. This matter is currently before the Court of Appeals and we await the court’s decision.”

Cross, a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, said there’s reason to hope things won’t get worse.

“Because we've actually been fairly successful at fending them off. But the pressure is mounting. And as I said, you know, people don't know journalists or understand them and just think they're out to get them, then they come out to get journalists.”

The Freedom of Information town hall meeting is Thursday at 7 p.m.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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