Story by Spotlight PA Staff
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Open records battles are all too familiar for journalists covering health care in Pennsylvania. In addition to conducting countless interviews, reporters often wrestle with department officials over Right-to-Know requests.
To understand your open records rights and how members of the media tackle transparency on this issue, or the lack thereof, join Spotlight PA’s free panel on the subject March 16 from 6-7 pm EST on Zoom.
Spotlight PA’s Ed Mahon will be there to share his hard-earned tips from a lengthy legal fight for medical marijuana records the Wolf administration sought to keep private.
In 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health took Spotlight PA to court in an effort to keep hidden information on how often cannabis is approved to treat opioid use disorder in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program, an approach with little scientific backing.
A panel of Commonwealth Court judges ultimately ordered the administration to release the records, allowing Mahon to report on how anxiety became the top reason that doctors approve patients for the medical marijuana program.
Join Mahon and our other panelists Thursday, March 16 from 6-7 pm EST on Zoom for a free discussion on health care reporting in Pennsylvania, how we fight for open records, and your rights under the Right-to-Know Law.
This event is a part of Sunshine Week — a national initiative spearheaded by the News Leaders Association to educate the public about the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy.
Our panelists will include:
- Ed Mahon, investigative reporter covering human services, Spotlight PA
- Brett Sholtis, reporter, LancasterOnline (LNP)
- Terry Mutchler, former head of the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records
RSVP for free here. Submit your questions in advance to [email protected].
WHILE YOU’RE HERE… If you learned something from this story, pay it forward and become a member of Spotlight PA so someone else can in the future at spotlightpa.org/donate. Spotlight PA is funded by foundations and readers like you who are committed to accountability journalism that gets results.