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FOI FYI: SPJ’s FOI Committee Blog
– Must read FOI stories – 7/25/14
– Must read FOI stories – 7/18/14
– FOIA should be proactive, not reactive

FOI Committee
This committee is the watchdog of press freedoms across the nation. It relies upon a network of volunteers in each state organized under Project Sunshine. These SPJ members are on the front lines for assaults to the First Amendment and when lawmakers attempt to restrict the public's access to documents and the government's business. The committee often is called upon to intervene in instances where the media is restricted.

Freedom of Information Committee Chair

Linda Petersen
Managing Editor
The Valley Journals
801-254-5974 X 17
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Linda Petersen is the managing editor of The Valley Journals, a group of 15 free, total market coverage, monthly community papers in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah.

She is president of the Utah Foundation for Open Government, a citizen coalition that works to educate and advocate for open government.

A past president of the Utah Headliners pro chapter, she is currently the chapter’s FOI officer and treasurer.

For her open government advocacy, she has received the Utah Press Association John E. Jones Award, the Utah Headliners Clifford P. Cheney Service to Journalism Award and the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Chapter Member Award.

Home > Freedom of Information > Reporter’s Guide to FERPA

Reporter’s Guide to FERPA
Navigating the Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act


Ever have a tough time getting public records from schools or universities? We feel your pain and are here to help you. The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act has been twisted beyond recognition, keeping school lunch menus, graduation honors and athletic travel records secret. Take back your right to information. This guide was produced in 2010 by the Society of Professional Journalists in conjunction with the Georgia First Amendment Foundation to help journalists and citizens understand their rights to education records and not allow school officials to hide important public information while still protecting legitimate student privacy.


About this project
This guide was produced by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Freedom of Information Committee in 2010 for national Sunshine Week to aid reporters and citizens acquire school records they are legally entitled to while still protecting student privacy. The project was led by Carolyn Carlson, a former national SPJ president and a journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga. Contributors included Charles Davis, David Chartrand, Sonny Albarado, and Jodi Cleesattle. Also, some of the information is courtesy of Georgia Public Schools and the Open Records Act: A Citizen’s Guide to Accessing School Records, which was sponsored by the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, Inc., the Georgia Department of Law, the Georgia Parent Teacher Association and the Georgia Press Association. The Georgia First Amendment Foundation received funding for the booklet from the Georgia Bar Foundation and the National Freedom of Information Coalition through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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