Friday is the day the state of Alaska is finally releasing the emails it has been holding onto from Sarah Palin’s time as governor. Media outlets first requested the documents more than two years ago, when Palin was running for vice president.
Some 24,000 pages of documents are expected to be releases but will only be provided in paper form — the state said it lacked the ability to digitally redact information. Reporters who make the trek to Juneau, and paying $725 in printing costs, will be given six standard paper boxes full of emails, weighing 250 pounds in all, according to The New York Times. The documents will be made available at 9 a.m. Alaska time Friday.
Not all of Palin’s emails are being released, as 2,415 pages of emails were deemed privileged by lawyers. It remains to be seen how much in the remaining emails has been redacted.
Several outlets will be crowdsourcing their efforts to go through all the documents.
“We’re asking readers to help us identify interesting and newsworthy e-mails, people and events that we may want to highlight,” The New York Times’ Derek Willis wrote on the paper’s politics blog. “Interested users can fill out a simple form to describe the nature of the e-mail, and provide a name and e-mail address so we’ll know who should get the credit. Join us here on Friday afternoon and into the weekend to participate.”
The Washington Post is being a little pickier.
“We are limiting this to just 100 spots for people who will work collaboratively in small teams to surface the most important information from the e-mails,” Ryan Kellett wrote on The Fix blog.
Mother Jones, msnbc.com and ProPublica, meanwhile, are teaming up to put the entire trove of documents online in a searchable archive — but it won’t be operational until “about a week after the papers are handed over to us.”
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com