Public Records Requests

The Daily Tar Heel is committed to keeping public agencies open and honest. Use this page to keep track of what records we’ve been requesting and how long it takes agencies to get back to us.

According to North Carolina law, a public record is defined as any kind of “documentary material” made or received in the transaction of public business by a North Carolina agency – so that’s not just text, but also photos, videos, audio, etc. Anyone can request a public record, and the individual is not required to give a reason for the request. Learn more.

Contact the desk editor at

Make your own records request
  • Identify the person in charge of the record, called the custodian
  • Contact the custodian, making sure to include specific details of what you want – phone or email typically works best
  • If you’re unsure of exactly what you want, talk to the custodian – a request can be a discussion
  • Check back on the status of the request every few days; agencies must provide copies of the records “as promptly as possible”
  • Here is the public records guide created by the North Carolina Press Association and the North Carolina Attorney General