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KCBX Two-Way: SLO Tribune forms media coalition to unseal Kristin Smart records

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The highly-publicized and long-running Kristin Smart murder case headed back to court today, with opening remarks in Monterey County’s Salinas courthouse. The trial was moved up to Monterey County after a SLO County judge ruled its widespread public attention here would not make for an impartial trial.

But despite widespread media coverage, concerns over access and transparency in this case remain.

With this in mind, the San Luis Obispo Tribune has formed a coalition with the LA Times, ABC News, and the Associated Press to try to unseal court records related to the Kristin Smart case.

KCBX’s Benjamin Purper spoke with SLO Tribune courts reporter Chloe Jones to talk about the coalition’s efforts to increase transparency in this case.

Benjamin Purper came to KCBX in May of 2021 from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.