Arizona Agenda's guide to getting public records

We created a downloadable zine to help you learn how to file and fight for public records.

The reason you know a lot of critical information — the behind-the-scenes shenanigans at the Arizona audit, the inside story of a liquor investigation at a strip club, certain lawmakers’ penchant for mileage payments — is because of public records.

Politicians and bureaucrats doing work for the public are required by law to hand over almost any document that you request. Reporters routinely file records requests as part of their jobs, but anyone can request public records.

We're often surprised by how frequently we as journalists are asked how to file a public records request.

So we put together our very first zine to answer questions about Arizona public records, offer up a public records request template, and teach you all the stuff we’ve learned as journalists who regularly battle for records. Special shoutout to Rachel’s husband, who designed the zine. 

It shouldn’t be difficult to access public records, though sometimes agencies or officials stand in the way of sunlight. We've got some tips about how to deal with stonewalling in here, too. 

You can download the full zine here as a PDF. Or you can read it via the images we put in this newsletter. If you want a print-and-fold version so you can make it look like a real zine, you can download that here. Feel free to print your own copies and share them.

Please share the zine with anyone you know who wants to know more about our government.

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And if you like this kind of work, please support us financially so we can make more of it.