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MDDC Press
Proudly Serving Maryland, Delaware and D.C. Newspapers Since 1908

Opinion:  Not always sunny in Maryland

Rebecca Snyder, MDDC Executive Director
Maryland’s patchwork of neighborhoods, towns, and municipalities create a diverse and wonderful landscape. From the smallest towns to the largest counties, there is a place for everyone. What is our biggest strength can also be our greatest challenge. With so many different local governments in play — 181 in all — each with its own set of customs and policies, citizens can easily become confused when trying to access information about their communities.

In honor of Sunshine Week, March 12-18, the MDDC Press Association convened a collaborative reporting project that involved many of our members. Reporters audited local government websites and examined the type of information readily available. In a nutshell, the diversity of Maryland that we celebrate also translates into an uneven quality of accessible government information. The full report is here [link to MDDC or to own localized coverage]. It falls to the news media to help make sense of this disjointed information.

Beyond the basics: Details, documents sometimes elusive on local government websites

Andy Schotz, The Frederick News-Post
If you need to find your local government office in Maryland, there’s a good chance the address is on the web.

But if you want to know when the office is open, the answer might be trickier to find online. Journalists reviewing local government websites for a new Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association study found that basic detail less than 60 percent of the time.

Press credentials for the Maryland State House

posted February 10, 2017
Maryland Capitol Police, which is responsible for access and security at Maryland state government buildings, has issued a new press credentials policy. MDDC Press Association worked closely with the MCP as well as the Society for Professional Journalists and other stakeholders to evaluate the policy and codify current practices.

Welcome, Capital News Service!

Capital News Service, the student-focused news wire of the University of Maryland, is MDDC's newest member! Under the direction of several faculty members at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism, students in the Capital News Service cover current news. Here's how they describe themselves:

Breaking Heroin’s Grip airs February 11

Heroin’s grip in the region has tightened, and MDDC member organizations will respond with ongoing news coverage about the cycle of addiction in their local communities. This coverage supports the effort of Maryland Public Television, which will broadcast and widely distribute a special documentary, Breaking Heroin’s Grip: Road to Recovery, at 7 pm on February 11, 2017.

Members have examined heroin's grip in their own communities and links to their reporting are below.

Best Practices for Public Notice

Public notices are part of the public's right to know and play an important role in citizen engagement. Is your publication providing the best showcase for these notices? Try highlighting the beginning page and section for public notice on your front page. Read more best practice tips from the Public Notice Resource Center.

Maryland & Delaware sessions open

Change is the theme in this year's new legislatures. At the local, state and federal level, there were major changes, and the environment continues to evolve.

Covering the inauguration?

Posted January 13, 2017
If you'll be in DC January 20th, there are critical things to know: which roads are closed and where to get a drink with other journos after inauguration.

What’s your idea? Apply now for 2017-2018 RJI Fellowships

It's time to find the Reynolds Journalism Institute’s next class of fellows who have innovative ideas and projects to improve the practice or understanding of journalism they would like to turn into fellowship projects. Deadline for application is February 1.

Opting out of Sniply

PROTECT AGAINST SNIPLY'S USE OF YOUR CONTENT. Sniply is a service that permits advertising and promotional messages to be tagged to publishers’ content without their consent. It aspires to permit its customers to “add a call to action” when they share links on social media. When a link is shared on social media through Sniply, a user can add a message, a button and a link to their website to the original content.

Are bills for resolving a legal case public record?

Posted Janaury 13, 2017
California's top court thinks so. In a tight decision, the court ruled that bills for legal services are public records. Read the full coverage from Los Angeles Times here.
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