Best of the Week

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Open records laws, source work take readers inside Trump special grand jury

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Atlanta reporter Kate Brumback scored a significant scoop and offered the AP’s audience unprecedented insight into the Fulton County special grand jury that considered whether former President Donald Trump illegally meddled in Georgia’s 2020 election through sophisticated open records reporting and strong source cultivation.  

Last May, a couple of weeks after the special grand jury was seated, Brumback filed open records requests with various top Georgia state officials related to any subpoenas from the grand jury. Brumback received multiple subpoenas and noticed they were all signed by Emily Kohrs, who was identified as the foreperson of the special grand jury. When jurors were told they could speak to the media, Brumback was the first to contact Kohrs and through building a relationship got a resulting interview that provided dramatic, newsy details about a process that is typically cloaked in secrecy.

The scoop earned more than 120,000 page views and was cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was also cited by major broadcast networks in their reports.

For breaking news on a highly competitive story, Brumback earns this week’s first honorable mention citation for Best of the Week.

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