Sarasota News Leader

01/10/2014

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ATWELL MALIGNED The City Commission listens to a constituent's remarks in June 2013. Photo by Norman Schimmel A UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA JOURNALISM SCHOOL PUBLICATION MISREPORTS ACTION IN THE LATEST CITY OF SARASOTA SUNSHINE LAWSUIT By Stan Zimmerman City Editor The premier Sunshine watchdog publication in Florida incorrectly is reporting that the Sarasota City Commission and Commissioner Suzanne Atwell violated the state's Open Meetings Law. the newspaper. The publication is "the joint effort of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, the Florida Press Association, the Florida Association of Broadcasters, the Florida The Brechner Report by the College of Society of Newspaper Editors, and the Joseph Journalism and Communications at the L. Brechner Endowment," it notes. University of Florida carries a Page 1 headline in its January issue: Sarasota, commissioner Unfortunately, the headline and the story are wrong. Neither Atwell nor the City admit to Sunshine Law violation. Commission admitted any guilt in their setThe story is drawn from the reporting of tlement of a suit filed last fall by Citizens for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Ironically, Sunshine, a Sarasota organization. The fact the dean of the journalism department is has been reiterated several times by City Diane McFarlin, the former publisher of Attorney Bob Fournier and Atwell.

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