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Seattle 'Two-Newspaper' Group Sues State over JOA Dispute Records

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Seattle 'Two-Newspaper' Group Sues State over JOA Dispute Records

Article excerpt

The citizens group that had formed to fight a potential break-up of the joint operating agreement between Seattle's two daily papers is suing the Washington State attorney general's office for allegedly denying access to documents related to the issue.

The Committee for a Two-Newspaper Town is accusing the state Attorney General's Office of wrongfully withholding public records related to the JOA between The Seattle Times Co. and The Hearst Corp., which owns the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the P-I reported.

The complaint, filed Monday in King County Superior Court, alleges that the state violated a state public records act by denying access to internal e-mails and other documents the group sought, the P-I said.

"The agency had said those records were exempt from disclosure because they were 'interagency memo with opinions' or 'attorney work product'," the paper said.

Ryan Shannon, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, told the paper the agency had not received the lawsuit. "Until we have a chance to review it, there's not much we can say about it," he said. "This was something we were not aware of."

In April, The Seattle Times Co. …

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