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FOIA

30 posts

News & Analysis

Document of the Day: Cooking Classified Soviet Borscht With FOIA

For over 50 years, the Central Intelligence Agency kept a tasty secret: a translated copy of the Soviet Army’s 1948 “Manual for the Cook-Instructor of the Ground Forces in Peacetime,” complete with borscht recipes.

Resource Video

Nils Mulvad – The story behind the data

More than ever, investigative journalists need to understand electronic data to do their jobs. To find, extract, analyze and tell stories, increasingly they need to deal with spreadsheets, databases, and visualizations. Nils Mulvad (https://x.com/nmulvad) is an Investigative journalist based in Denmark, who has worked with data journalism for more than 20 years. Visit GIJN’s resource […]

Resource

Document of the Day: Beginner’s Guide to Requesting an FBI File

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.

Reporting Tools & Tips

Your 17 Favorite Tools for Journalism from 2017

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.

Case Studies

FOIA This! — Requests Uncover Green News

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.

Case Studies

How They Did It: Reuters’ Database of Taser Deaths

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.

Resource

Unlocking Laws to Set Information Free: GIJN’s Global Guide to FOI and RTI

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 Journalism

FOIA This! Big Stories in Government Data

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.