Gerry Lanosga

Gerry
Lanosga

Lanosga is an IU journalism professor.

Full Biography

Lanosga is an IU journalism professor.

Full Biography

February 17, 2017 8:06 PM

Bad bills never die

One of Mike Pence’s finer moments as governor was his 2015 veto of a bill that would have allowed public agencies to charge a search fee for public records requests. Now that Pence has gone on to bigger things, the bill is back. (Thanks, Trump!) House Bill 1523 passed the Indiana House this week by a vote of 62-25, and the Senate almost certainly will pass it as well. So the question is what new…

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March 14, 2016 11:23 AM 1 Comment

A terrible bill that deserves a veto

This being national Sunshine Week, it’s ironic that the Indiana legislature has sent Gov. Mike Pence at least two bills that fly in the face of the public’s right to know. I wrote about one of them, a bill addressing the records of private university police departments, last week. Now it’s time for a look at the other bill, which concerns the release (or, more accurately, non-release) of police video recordings. The bill is being…

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March 11, 2016 3:52 PM

A sea change for private university police – but not the one they anticipated?

The Indiana General Assembly has sent the governor a bill concerning the records of private university police departments. According to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, the bill represents a “sea change” in opening up private college police records to the public. But the South Bend Tribune calls the bill “toothless.” So who’s right? Actually, maybe both. ESPN was first to raise concerns about the police departments of private schools. The cable network sued Notre Dame…

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January 29, 2016 11:19 AM

Can we talk about transparency?

With the presidential primary race taking center stage and the state legislature consuming whatever’s left of the political oxygen, it’s not surprising that a proposal by Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg to increase transparency of state public records has landed with a quiet thud. But this one’s worth some attention. Gregg’s “Open Government Initiative,” announced Monday, proposes several major improvements in the way public records are handled by Indiana agencies. First, Gregg would impose a…

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November 16, 2015 12:25 PM

A ready-made agenda for Org Day?

The nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity’s comprehensive State Integrity 2015 report doesn’t seem to have gotten a lot of attention in these parts. That’s unfortunate, because it contains a laundry list of items that could be used to fashion a serious reform agenda for Indiana lawmakers as they prepare for the coming legislative session. The 50-state report examined transparency and accountability in areas including public access, campaign finance, electoral oversight and the state budget, to…

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October 15, 2015 12:55 PM 2 Comments

Hillary’s damned emails

I have to admit that I laughed when I heard Bernie Sanders say he was tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s damned emails. It was funny, and it was a good applause line. But let me tell you something I’m tired of hearing about: The insinuation by policymakers that issues surrounding the proper maintenance and disclosure of public records is a distraction from more important “substantive” issues. This is one of the oldest deflections in…

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October 2, 2015 4:34 PM 1 Comment

In defense of politicizing

President Obama was righteously indignant when he took to the lectern to speak about America’s latest mass shooting. And he knew what critics would say. “Somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue,” the president predicted. Sure enough, now comes Erich Pratt of the Gun Owners of America: “We find it offensive to hear the White House use a tragedy like this and instantly turn it into a political opportunity.” But what is…

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September 23, 2015 11:25 AM 1 Comment

Governing business and the business of governing

My colleague Sheila Kennedy touched on a pet subject of mine in her post “Running government like a real-world business….” The issue has been on my mind lately in light of recent presidential politics and some big headlines from the business world. My stock rejoinder to those who say we should run government like a business is: Which business? There are some stellar examples to choose from this week. Should it be General Motors, which has admitted to…

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September 21, 2015 11:59 AM

Policing’s culture of concealment

What’s behind the recent crisis of confidence in the police? Is bad policing an epidemic? Is it rabble-rousing protesters making too much of a few bad cases? There are arguments to be made on both sides, but I’d like to suggest a focus on a systemic problem that provides much of the fuel for controversy: official secrecy. The fondness for secrecy touches law enforcement from the officer on the street to the prosecutor in the…

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April 28, 2015 1:29 PM 1 Comment

Journalism, power and celebrity

Much of the discussion at the Statehouse at the moment is about legislative ethics reform – as it should be – but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about journalistic ethics as well. More years ago than I care to count, when I was a relatively new reporter in Indianapolis, I received an invitation to then-Lt. Gov. Frank O’Bannon’s house. It was for an annual event bringing together journalists and the officials they covered for…

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