UNESCO: LatAm FOI Laws Among Best

Latin American laws on access to public information are among the best in the world, according to a new UNESCO report. With the exception of Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba and Venezuela, most countries in Latin America have laws that guarantee access to official information. The real challenges, the report notes, are in implementation, impact and access.

Source: Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Posted on: June 20, 2017

Protecting Dwindling Forests With FOI Laws

With deforestation growing rapidly, and retaining forests key to halting climate change, getting data on what's happening is both critical and challenging. Yet countries with over half the world’s forests lack accessible information on concessions, according to a new study by the World Resources Institute. The study, Logging, Mining and Agricultural Data Transparency: A Survey of 14 Forested Countries, found that not only are freedom of information laws effective in improving access to forest data, but countries with FOI laws tend to disclose concession data more proactively than those without them.

Source: World Resources Institute

Posted on: March 23, 2017

50 Stories in 50 States Using Public Docs

The power of documents and data: Poynter tracks how journalists did stories in all 50 U.S. states using public records. While it's true the United States has relatively good access to public records, even there, reporters must often fight to obtain them. And these story ideas cross borders: here are 50 reasons why journalists worldwide should be demanding open records.

Source: Poynter

Posted on: December 29, 2015

RSF Names 39 “Predators” of Freedom of Information

For World Press Freedom Day, Reporters Without Borders has updated its list of groups and individuals who are "predators of freedom of information." The roster includes 39 government leaders, politicians, religious figures, militias, and criminal groups that censor, imprison, kidnap, torture, and kill journalists and other news providers worldwide.

Source: Reporters Without Borders

Posted on: May 5, 2013

FOIA Shaming Site Uses New Tool: Embarrassment

FOIA Shaming is a tumblr site sponsored by the Student Press Law Center, the only legal assistance group devoted to helping student journalists in the US. The site posts examples of officials who refuse to hand over public records -- and then ridicules them.

Source: Student Press Law Center

Posted on: April 28, 2013

Mexican FOI Laws Key Tool for Pulitzer Winner

The independent Mexican journalist Alejandra Xanic von Bertrab won the Pulitzer Prize for her research on the network of bribery and corruption that was a key part of Wal-Mart de México’s expansion strategy. Her 8-month investigation required 800 freedom of information requests from municipal, state, and federal offices in Mexico, and a total of 200 interviews.

Source: Journalism in the Americas

Posted on: April 25, 2013