In order for the SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL reporters to figure out who was receiving federal disaster aid, they first needed names and addresses from FEMA. When FEMA denied their request, the SUN-SENTINEL took them to court. This past June a federal appeals court ruled in the newspaper’s favor, requiring FEMA to release the addresses, though not the names, of disaster aid recipients.

Today was the deadline for FEMA to file for a rehearing. They have until September 20 to petition the Supreme Court to review the case.

The Blog spoke to Rachel Fugate, an attorney who represented the SUN-SENTINEL in its case against FEMA. “I think a lot of newspapers were waiting to see what would happen with this case,” Fugate told the Blog. “I think it might open up a door for a lot of news entities to make requests for this type of information in their reporting.” Read more of the interview with Fugate.

Carrie Ching

Carrie Ching is an award-winning, independent multimedia journalist and producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For six years, she led digital storytelling projects at the Center for Investigative Reporting as senior multimedia producer. Her multimedia reports have been featured by NPR.org, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Grist, Time.com, Fast Company, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, KQED, PBS NewsHour, Salon.com, Mother Jones, Public Radio International, Poynter, Columbia Journalism Review and many other publications. Her specialty is crafting digital narratives and exploring ways to use video, audio, photography, animation and interactive graphics to push the boundaries of storytelling on the Web, tablets and mobile. Her work has been honored with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Best of the West, the Online News Association, Scripps Howard, The Gracies, and was part of the entry in a Pulitzer-finalist project. Prior to her time at CIR she was a magazine and book editor, video journalist, newspaper reporter and TV comedy scriptwriter. She was on the 2010 Eddie Adams Workshop faculty as a multimedia producer working with MediaStorm to teach digital storytelling techniques to photojournalists. She completed a master’s degree in journalism at UC Berkeley in 2005.