“I wish I had a magic bullet to offer here,” O’Connor says about what else might be done in West Virginia. “I think the problem is people don’t understand what their rights are, and I think that’s obviously what the press is supposed to be doing, is to let people know the information already belongs to them … I wish I had something innovative to offer other than just constant pressure, which is I think what an active press tries to do.”

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Corey Hutchins is CJR's Rocky Mountain correspondent based in Colorado. A former alt-weekly reporter in the Palmetto State, he was twice named journalist of the year in the weekly division by the SC Press Association. Hutchins worked on the State Integrity Investigation at the Center for Public Integrity and he has contributed to Slate, The Nation, The Texas Observer, and others. Follow him on Twitter @coreyhutchins or email him at coreyhutchins@gmail.com.