Sarah Palin's Alaska governor e-mails released

Journalists are poring through 24,000 pages of former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin's e-mails, after they were released by officials in the US state.

News organisations first requested the move in 2008, when she was chosen from relative obscurity to become the Republican vice-presidential candidate.

The documents were released on paper. News organisations have begun scrambling to process and scan them.

Mrs Palin may be considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination.

The state has released 24,199 pages of e-mails from Mrs Palin's first 21 months as governor, but authorities withheld nearly 2,300 pages, citing executive privilege and privacy concerns.

The treasurer of Mrs Palin's political action committee said on Friday that the e-mails show a "very engaged Governor Sarah Palin being the CEO of her state".

"The e-mails detail a governor hard at work," he said.

Reporters from several news organisations arrived in the Alaskan capital of Juneau on Friday in order to sift through the documents, which are only being released in paper form, and disseminate them to the public.

The Washington Post said it was looking for "100 organised and diligent readers" to assist reporters in scanning through the e-mails, while the New York Times was posting the e-mails on its website.
'Out of context'

The sheer volume of requests for the documents are said to be the cause for the nearly three-year delay in their release.

Mrs Palin told Fox News on Sunday that "a lot of those e-mails obviously weren't meant for public consumption", adding that some might take some of the messages "out of context".

Mrs Palin was elected governor of Alaska in 2006. Senator John McCain tapped her to run alongside him as vice-presidential candidate in the 2008 race.

She abruptly resigned as governor in July 2009, embarking on a career as a public political figure that included paid spots on Fox News Channel and a reality television programme about her family life in Alaska.

Requests have also been made to release e-mails chronicling Mrs Palin's final 10 months in office. But officials have not yet begun reviewing those requests.

It is unclear what the documents might reveal or how relevant they might be.

Much of Mrs Palin's background during her term as governor has already been revealed in media investigations and accounts by former staff members.

Mrs Palin has a fiercely loyal base among conservative Republicans, but she is also a divisive figure, provoking disdain from many Democrats and liberals.

She has not declared her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, though the field has begun to take shape. However, she recently embarked on a highly visible tour of national historic sites, news media in tow
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