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By Matthew Bunk
Editor, Missoulian 

A Victory for Freedom of Information: Decision to Release Booking Photos has Statewide Implications

Guest Editorial


Despite Montana’s strong public information laws, news organizations in many Montana counties have long fought for the public’s right to access the photographs taken of accused criminals when they are booked into jail.

Thanks to a recent district court ruling, that fight has been largely settled. Not surprisingly, public access triumphed. News media across Montana will soon be able to publish booking photos along with relevant crime stories.

Booking photos – or “mugshots” in news industry parlance - are important public information. For one, photos are an engaging visual device th...

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