On April 27, the Alliance joined a brief, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division, concerning access to police internal affairs records under the common law right of access in New Jersey. In 21st Century Media v. Ewing Township, the Trentonian newspaper requested records from the Ewing Police Department (“EPD”) after the forcible arrest of a Black teenager in 2018. The EPD denied the request and the Trentonian sued. The lower court ordered EPD to release the records directly related to the 2018 arrest but denied the request for historical records dating back to 2010. The brief, filed by RCFP, argues that the lower court failed to conduct a careful, fact-sensitive review of the historical records request under the common law right of access as required by the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling in Rivera v. Union County Prosecutor’s Office, 250 N.J. 124 (2022). The Alliance supports protecting journalists’ right to access information, which can play a vital role in promoting transparency, accountability, and positive institutional reform. Read more.
Charlotte McBirney is Senior Counsel and Director, Public Policy for the News/Media Alliance.