By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Northeastern j-students expose flaws in public records law

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.06.13 AM

Still from a video produced by Northeastern journalism students. Click on the Globe version of the story to view it.

Our journalism students at Northeastern made a big splash over the weekend. Professor Mike Beaudet’s investigative reporting class partnered with The Boston Globe and WCVB-TV (Channel 5) to produce a story showing that the majority of the state’s 351 cities and towns failed to respond to public records requests.

Here is the Globe version of the story, written by staff reporter Todd Wallack. Here is the WCVB version, helmed by Beaudet, who was recently hired as an investigative reporter at the station.

Despite an intense focus on the state’s extraordinarily weak public records law (here is a letter written earlier this year by the Northeastern School of Journalism faculty and published by the Globe, the Boston Herald, and GateHouse Media community newspapers), 2015 is drawing to a close with the Massachusetts House having passed an inadequate reform bill and the Senate not having acted at all.

Let’s hope that in early 2016 the Senate fixes what the House got wrong. And congratulations to our students on a great job.

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


Christmas Eve at the Mystic Lakes


How a Connecticut journalist unmasked ‘Edward Clarkin’


  1. Can we find a listing of how each community responded?

  2. I’d been hoping there’s be a results by municipality as well. But Todd Wallack tweeted Sunday that “we decided to focus on the statewide results for various reasons.” I’m curious to know why?

    • Dan Kennedy

      My understanding is that those involved didn’t want to identify cities and towns without making direct follow-up contact with them.

  3. James Malloy

    Maybe cities and towns didn’t receive them…

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén