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More than 115 countries worldwide have laws that require officials to turn over public records. Of course, even in the countries that have no laws it never hurts to ask. But there’s an advantage to using an access law — variously called freedom of information laws, access to information laws, right to information and right to know laws. COVID-19 Update:
Tips on Making FOIA Requests About COVID-19 A GIJN guide on using freedom of information (FOI) laws to understand the COVID-19 pandemic. Mountains of vital stories about the coronavirus are hidden in public records.
How can a journalist request Federal Bureau of Investigation’s files on an individual? MuckRock’s JPat Brown prepared a useful step-by-step flowchart guide for all scenarios to help you make sure you’ve gathered all the materials you need before you file that FOIA.
Ren LaForme, the tool guy over at Poynter who runs their Try This! — Tools for Journalism newsletter, put together a list of his readers’ favorites from 2017. A quick, fun and helpful must read highlighting journalism tools from the Pipl app to FOIA Slack and a dirt cheap phone tripod.
Freedom of information requests have fueled recent environmental stories around the world. GIJN’s Resource Center director, Toby McIntosh, put together a round-up of a few that might stimulate your investigative thinking.
A team of Reuters reporters, editors and data analysts reviewed the results of hundreds of autopsies and filed hundreds of public records requests involving deaths by Taser in the US. The result? Not only did the investigation catalogue 1,005 deaths, but it ended up building the most comprehensive database ever on Taser-related deaths.
More than 115 countries worldwide have laws that require officials to turn over public records. Variously called freedom of information, access to information, right to information and right to know laws, they all can help journalists access public records. We’ve lined up GIJN’s Complete Global Guide to Freedom of Information to help you navigate the terrain.
Data on government workforces might not sound that exciting — that is until you consider the trove of information it can help uncover. Here’s how journalists worldwide are using FOI requests to dig into great stories.
During the height of the “Red Scare,” the FBI built an elaborate case alleging America’s favorite newsman was a Communist. MuckRock sifted through 700 pages of Bureau documents that tracked Murrow’s acquaintances, movements and alleged involvement with Communist-front organizations.