UPDATE: I've now made the materials released thus far by Judge Baca in the New Times affair available online to anyone who is interested in viewing them:
A preliminary review of the documents reveals that Judge Baca released all documents related to the legal tussle following the issuance of the Grand Jury subpoena. She did not release any materials, other than the subpoena, related to the matter before the Grand Jury or transcripts of the Grand Jury proceedings.
Even so, some of the briefs submitted by both sides are quite illuminating. There are some by Wilenchik's firm that represent perhaps the least professional demeanor I have ever seen a lawyer manifest in a written document addressing a court. I'll be posting on the subject in the near future.
The Grand Jury proceedings having been unsealed on October 24th, it is time to take a look under the veil of secrecy and see what there is to see. There is still no word from the MSM about anything in that record, so it may be time to see what empowered citizens can find.
The clerk of the court has prepared a disc with the relevant documents available at the courthouse in Phoenix for $18. I think would be a an ideal opportunity to demonstrate what networked journalism can do, even on a smaller locally-oriented blog like this one. National blogs have made good use of their readers to investigate large document dumps, I'd like to see if we can do the same here in Arizona.
Step 1: DONE Raise the money to pay the price of access to materials. $18 isn't much, but demonstrating that you are willing and able to foot the bill for access to primary materials is an important first step in networked journalism - it shows we're not dependent on corporate deep pockets to get at the truth; we are willing and able to take responsibility for informing ourselves together. FOIA requests and duplication/preparation costs can be prohibitive in some cases, but this time I'm shooting to raise just $25 to cover the materials and their timely delivery.
Step 2: DONE Make the materials openly available to readers. I plan on either posting the whole disc online for download, or uploading each document for viewing online, whichever seems most practical.
Step 3: IN PROGRESS Enlist Arizona blog readers in a search for improper needles in the haystack. Traditional journalist are likely to be pouring over this materials as well, but what will they miss or not find newsworthy? I will network with other liberal bloggers in Arizona to get the word out about the project, and I will set up a reporting system for finds of interest. All information generated will be made publicly available for anyone to use.
Step 4: I and other bloggers will analyze and comment upon what we find interesting and important in the results of your spade-work.
More to follow soon...