Getting Documents, Dealing with Whistleblowers, and Staying Safe

Getting information from official or unofficial sources lies at the heart of investigative journalism. This section of the GIJN/NAJA guide covers:

How to make official requests for information
How to work with whistleblowers
How to protect yourself

Using Access Laws to Get Information
Information laws are key prying devices in the investigative toolkit. However, the unique legal status of Indigenous governmental bodies may result in unique challenges when pursuing open information requests with these entities. The freedom of information laws of the United States and Canada do not cover tribal nations and few tribes have adopted their own access laws. There are also nuances in national laws.

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

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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.

GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Sex in Parliament, Peace and Press Freedom and Vanishing Global Water

What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from May 14 to 20 finds @FinancialTimes highlighting @NASA data on high risk drought areas across the globe, @infogram juxtaposing press freedom with global peace rankings and @BBCNews showing how smuggling mobile phones is a rampant problem in English and Welsh prisons.

FOI’s Man in the Middle East

In 2007, Jordan became the first country in the Middle East to enact freedom of information laws — and Musab Al-Shawabkeh is the award-winning journalist who has been taking full advantage of it.