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Getting the Story Out

Investigative Journalism in Africa: A Book From the Frontlines

The award-winning Ghanaian journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni says there are a series of challenges that investigative reporters in Africa must confront during the course of their work. Read about the difficulty of getting accurate data, the challenges of impunity, funding issues, and press freedom challenges in this excerpt from his new book.

Member Profiles

MuckRock’s Brown on FOIA as Journalism’s Flashlight

FOIA is the solar-powered flashlight of the journalism world — it offers direct access to primary source material which sometimes leads to a big scoop. MuckRock executive editor JPat Brown shares the compelling, and sometimes hilarious, stories that results from MuckRock’s FOIA requests.

News & Analysis

World Hits 100 Freedom of Info Laws, but Challenges Abound

The civil society movement campaigning for government openness reached a significant landmark yesterday with the Latin American country of Paraguay enacting the world’s 100th access to information law. Twenty years ago, in 1994, there were just 15 access to information laws globally. But “there are still many challenges ahead,” says Helen Darbishire of Access Info Europe. “The quality of access to information laws varies enormously. There is insufficient transparency in practice and we urgently need more comparative data on how these laws are working.”

Resource

The Global FOI Guide

Today, more than 90 countries have laws that require officials to turn over public records, and the number continues to grow each year. And even in countries with no laws specifying whether records should be made available, it never hurts to ask.

Below are a few of the best resources for journalists seeking to file records requests in countries with laws governing access to information.