James Eli Shiffer | Star Tribune
Reporter | Editor

James Eli Shiffer covers government secrecy and public records, and writes the Full Disclosure column. He have worked as a team leader and reporter at the Star Tribune since 2005, focusing on investigations and the digital transformation of news. Before that, he spent 12 years at The News & Observer in Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina. He's a board member of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information. He's also the author of "The King of Skid Row," a 2016 book from the University of Minnesota Press about a vanished community in Minneapolis.


Big ideas for open government fall short at Legislature

Transparency advocates had grand plans for improving public access to government information in Minnesota this legislative session. One proposal would have stopped the mass…


At U.S. State Department, ground rules for official anonymity

– The weather was sweltering on the sidewalks of the U.S. Capitol last week, so the State Department officials walked outside the massive…


Inside one woman's fight to expose Minn. health care investigations

Sheila Van Pelt's yearslong campaign underscores the enormous challenges facing everyday citizens in an era when powerful interest groups push laws that ensure greater levels of secrecy.


Growing police tech arsenal watches criminals, citizens

Law enforcement agencies have more tools to gather information than ever before. Laws safeguarding that data and guaranteeing public access to it are failing to keep up.


Survivors of CIA's secret airline gather in Twin Cities to reminisce, organize

Officials still say they were not affiliated with U.S. government during the Vietnam War.


Newspaper's secrecy scoop of 1947 resonates today

The headline blared across the front page of the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune. Big enough to stop a president: “U.S. CENSORSHIP PLAN REVEALED.” It was…


In Minneapolis, no rush to obtain body cam video

Since the city began outfitting each patrol officer with a camera last summer, the police received only 25 requests for information that included body camera video.


Minneapolis scrubs its records to hide site of Super Bowl command center

Mpls. scrubs info, leaving public in dark on landlord.


Former NSA executive urges public vigilance against government overreach

NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake said he chose defending the law over loyalty to the agency.


The final cache of secret JFK records set for release this year

Documents that show what the government knows about John F. Kennedy's 1963 trip to Dallas have been kept secret for more than 50 years. Now, these records are among the remaining sealed documents about the JFK assassination set for release in coming months.