Your essential weekly guide to the latest on FOIA, transparency and accountability battles, threats and wins. Powered by the reporters at MuckRock.

Meet MuckRock's new open source fellow, Sanjin Ibrahimovic

MuckRock is excited to welcome Sanjin Ibrahimovic, our first Open Source Fellow. In this new role, he will support collaborative projects that build on our DocumentCloud platform, including extending its functionality through new Add-Ons and assisting selected Gateway Grants projects in their transparency work.

Here's Sanjin on his background with DocumentCloud and plans for the position:

Like many of you, I’ve been a DocumentCloud fan for many years; I started using DocumentCloud all the way back in 2017, as part of my efforts to hold police accountable with the Lucy Parsons Labs collective. As DocumentCloud’s new Open Source Fellow, I am filled with immense gratitude for the community.

It is my pleasure to help grow the DocumentCloud community by supporting partners with technical projects, building Add-Ons that the community at-large can use like the Cloud Import Add-On that was just developed, hosting DocumentCloud trainings and events, and writing more clear and intuitive documentation to foster development. By giving partners, organizations, and contributors a lower barrier of entry into exploring all of the powerful features of the DocumentCloud API and providing useful examples and built-in tools, we can further grow DocumentCloud as a common resource for document liberation and journalism as well as increase collaborative efforts in everything from on-the-street reporting to data analysis to research.

DocumentCloud’s Add-On platform combines the ease of use of GitHub Actions, the power of the Python Programming language, and the DocumentCloud Python Wrapper to create a development-friendly environment.  As the Open Source Fellow, I strive to be the go-to person for collaborative technical efforts on the platform and foster relationships with everyone interested in contributing to DocumentCloud as a vital open source project. 
Text by Sanjin Ibrahimovic. Image from MuckRock website.
Learn more about the Gateway Grants
The update 

▶ Utah lawyers and journalists team up on records requests: Reporters at the Salt Lake Tribune have increasingly received denials in response to FOIA requests, investigative reporter Jessica Miller writes. As a result, lawyers from five firms in the state are donating their time to the Tribune, a nonprofit news site, in order to help journalists fight those denials. Records from state agencies can uncover important stories, such as MuckRock's collaboration with the Tribune on Utah's failed school COVID-19 testing program. (Read the documents and data behind that story here.)

Hacks/Hackers is hiring a Director of Operations: Hacks/Hackers, a grassroots journalism organization that shares knowledge and information among its thousands of members, seeks a Director of Operations who will "oversee HR, finance, and administrative responsibilities." The organization seeks candidates who can manage a $5 million contract it recently received from the National Science Foundation. Learn more about the role and apply here.

Open court records will save money, CBO finds: Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released its cost estimates for S. 2614, also called the "Free PACER" bill, which would cancel fees for online court records. Overall, between 2022 and 2032, the bill would lead to $343 million in savings for the federal government, CBO found. However, the office "overestimates" costs of moving to a new records system, according to Fix the Court.

FOIA finds  & top docs 

For The Record was written by Betsy Ladyzhets and edited by André Natta.

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