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Find FOI in your state

Get in touch with the Sunshine chair or chairs in your state and find FOI Centers, quotable sources, resources and more by using the menu below.

Freedom of Information
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FOI Audit Tookit | PDF
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FOI FYI: SPJ’s FOI Committee Blog
– Ask an expert: How to appeal a FOIA rejection
– Contact your senator today to pass FOIA fixes!
– Must read FOI stories – 7/25/14

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

David Cuillier
Director and Associate Professor
School of Journalism
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721
Work: 520-626-9694
Email
@DavidCuillier
Bio (click to expand) David Cuillier, Ph.D., is director of the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he researches and teaches access to public records, and is co-author with Charles Davis of "The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records." He served as FOI chair 2007-11 before becoming a national officer and serving as SPJ president in 2013-14.

Before entering academia, he was a newspaper reporter and editor in the Pacific Northwest. He has testified before Congress on FOI issues twice and provides newsroom training in access on behalf of SPJ. His long-term goal is to see a unified coalition of journalism organizations fighting for press freedom and funded through an endowed FOI war chest.


FOI Committee Members

Sonny Albarado
Projects Editor
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
121 E. Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201
Work: 501-244-4321
Fax: 501-372-4765
E-mail
@SAlbarado
Bio (click to expand) picture As projects editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, Sonny Albarado supervises reporters on investigative and explanatory journalism assignments. He holds a bachelor’s degree and an honorary doctor of letters from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, La.

His journalism career of more than 40 years includes lengthy sojourns in Baton Rouge, La., and Memphis, Tenn. He has been a reporter, an assistant city editor, a business editor (twice), a projects editor (twice), a news editor and a city editor. He also briefly edited a trade magazine dedicated to the coin-operated amusement industry.

He has been involved in the defense of the First Amendment and the free flow of information since his days as editor of his college’s student newspaper. A member of SPJ since 1979, he is a past president of SPJ and a current member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

All awards he’s received have been the result of good editors when he was a reporter and excellent reporters since he’s been an editor.


Ana-Klara H. Anderson, Ph.D., Esq.
Attorney
Thomas & LoCicero PL
601 South Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33606
Work: 813-984-3069
Fax: 813-984-3070
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Ana-Klara Anderson is an associate in Thomas & LoCicero’s Tampa office and frequently handles litigation and transactional matters for English and Spanish-language media clients in the areas of First Amendment law, sweepstakes and contests, commercial litigation, and arts and entertainment law. She earned her J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and her Ph.D. from UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. Ana-Klara has worked as a freelance journalist for the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post, and as a news clerk for the Washington Post. Before graduate school, she served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Iraq.

Carolyn S. Carlson
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication
Kennesaw State University
MD2207
Kennesaw, GA 30114-5591
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Carolyn S. Carlson has written reports for SPJ's 2012, 2013 and 2014 Sunshine Week projects on surveys she conducted on the strained relationship between reporters and government public information officers. She also chairs the SPJ FOI Committee’s Subcommittee On FERPA. She has also been a leader in the effort to improve public access to records involving student discipline and crime on the nation’s college campuses. She founded the multi-organizational Campus Courts Task Force, which received an SPJ Freedom of Information Award in 1998 for its success in changing federal law to increase public access to college disciplinary records involving serious crime. Carlson has a doctorate from Georgia State University and her bachelors from the University of Georgia. She is an assistant professor of journalism at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta. She is a former political press secretary and a longtime reporter and editor for The Associated Press. She was national president of SPJ in 1989-1990, chaired the SPJ Ethics Committee in 1993-94, received SPJ’s Wells Key in 1994.

Jodi Cleesattle
Deputy Attorney General
California Department of Justice
San Diego, CA
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Jodi Cleesattle is a deputy attorney general for the California Department of Justice, where she works in the Civil Division in San Diego. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, she was a partner at Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP, in San Diego, where she handled media law cases and other commercial litigation. Jodi previously worked as a daily news reporter for The Lancaster (Ohio) Eagle-Gazette, covering politics and legal issues, and was founding editor of The National Jurist, a national magazine for law students. Jodi serves on SPJ's national board as Region 11 director and on SPJ’s national FOI Committee and Legal Defense Fund Committee. She is SPJ Project Sunshine Chair for Southern California and a board member of the SPJ San Diego Pro Chapter and was president of the San Diego Pro Chapter from 2007-09. She also serves as editor of Lawyers Club News, the monthly newsletter of Lawyers Club of San Diego, a bar association dedicated to the advancement of women in the law and society, and she freelances for San Diego Lawyer magazine.

Charles Davis
Dean
Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Georgia
120 Hooper Street
Athens, GA 30602
Work: 706-248-6636
E-mail

Mike Farrell
Director, Scripps Howard First Amendment Center
Associate professor
School of Journalism & Telecommunications
144 Grehan
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Ky 40506-0042
859-257-4848 (w)
859-431-2057 (h)
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Mike Farrell serves as director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center at the University of Kentucky and as an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. He began teaching as an adjunct in 1980 at Northern Kentucky University, continued as a graduate teaching assistant at UK in 1996, and has been a full-time faculty member there since 2000. He won the college teaching award in 2006.

He teaches reporting, media ethics, media law, journalism history, editing, media law, covering religion news and column writing.

He was a reporter, city editor and managing editor during a 20-year career at The Kentucky Post.

A native of Northern Kentucky, he earned his undergraduate degree at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees at UK, where he focused on media law. He is a member of the Bluegrass Chapter and co-adviser of the UK student chapter of SPJ.


Kathryn Foxhall
Freelance Reporter
Washington, D.C., area
3921 Crittenden St.
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781
Work: 301-779-8239
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Kathryn Foxhall has covered health in Washington for almost 40 years, including 14 years (1978-1992) as editor of the American Public Health Association’s newspaper.

She accidently became a reporter after applying for a typing job at the now defunct Selma Free-Press in Selma, Alabama, with her new B.A. from Birmingham-Southern College.

Currently freelancing for Contemporary Pediatrics and other publications, she previously worked for the American Psychological Association’s magazine and for newsletters on substance abuse and medical coding.

After years of getting a dynamic education by speaking frankly with sources on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies, she became alarmed as federal workers came under rules prohibiting them from communicating with journalists without the oversight of the public relations offices—in reality oversight by people in power.

That concern has led to a number of efforts including doing “shoe leather” work on the letter to President Obama from 38 journalism and other groups in 2014.


Ashley Jost
Higher education reporter
Columbia Daily Tribune
101 N. 4th Street
Columbia, Mo.
Office: 573-815-1721
Cell: 314-397-5484
E-mail
@ajost

Jennifer Karchmer
Independent journalist
RWB Correspondent
2505 Monroe Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
518 569-9118
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Jennifer Karchmer is an independent journalist who has worked in print, radio, TV and Internet-based reporting since 1991. She is a member of SPJ Western Washington Pro chapter.
In 2012, Jennifer was awarded First Place in the SPJ Northwest Excellence in Journalism Contest for her research and writing on Iceland as a free press haven. She was also awarded news citations by the Washington Press Association for her international reporting and for “The Transparency Report,” a self-produced series on the coal port proposal near Bellingham, WA.


Jennifer has worked for the Associated Press, McClatchy, Gannett and CNN. Currently, she is based in France studying freedom of the press in Europe. She is an internationally accredited TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher.


Danielle McLean
Reporter
Somerville Journal
91 Glenwood Road, Apt. 1
Somerville, Mass., 02145
Phone: 508-725-8716
E-mail
@DMcLeanWL
Bio (click to expand) picture Over the past three years, Danielle McLean has been the reporter for 13 different community beats at numerous news publications around Massachusetts. She is currently a reporter for the Somerville Journal, a weekly newspaper owned by GateHouse Media New England- covering a Boston-area city of more than 75,000 residents. McLean covers Somerville's rapidly-changing demographic shift, massive development surge, and acts as a watchdog while the government pushes more and more initiatives that encourage those changes.

The Hofstra graduate was elected President of SPJ's New England chapter in December. Since, the chapter has hosted a successful Region 1 conference at Boston University, has grown enrollment, and added five new board members.

Last winter, McLean was given a New England Newspaper and Press Association government reporting award for her coverage on a proposed development in Maynard, Massachusetts.


Linda Petersen
Managing Editor
The Valley Journals
12702 Ann Christine Ct.
Riverton, Utah
801-254-5974 X 17
801-554-7513
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.


Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Media
Oklahoma State University
206 Paul Miller
Stillwater, OK 74078-4053
405-744-8277
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Joey Senat, an associate journalism professor at Oklahoma State University, writes a blog, foioklahoma.blogspot.com, for FOI Oklahoma Inc., a nonprofit representing a statewide coalition of open government advocates.

His model letter for requesting public records in Oklahoma is widely used. He also wrote a citizens guide to the state’s open records and meeting laws.

Senat has spoken on FOI, First Amendment and journalism education issues at dozens of professional and academic conferences, including the AEJMC National Conference, IRE National Conference, IRE Better Watchdog Workshops and SPJ Region 8 conferences. In summer 2012, he conducted open records training sessions across the Midwest for SPJ.

For his work to advance government transparency, Senat received the 2007 Marian Opala First Amendment Award and the 2005 Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment.

Senat has been published in Quill and the IRE Journal. He reported for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., and the Tulsa (Okla.) World. He earned academic degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, Memphis State University and LSU.


Lynn Walsh
Investigative Producer
WPTV NewsChannel 5
1100 Banyan Blvd.
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
614-579-7937
E-mail
@LWalsh
Bio (click to expand) picture Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been working in investigative journalism at the national level as well as locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. Currently she leads the KNSD investigative team at the NBC TV station in San Diego, California, where she is the Investigative Executive Producer.

Most recently, she was working as data producer and investigative reporter for the E.W. Scripps National Desk producing stories for the 30+ Scripps news organizations across the country. Before moving to the national desk, she worked as the Investigative Producer at WPTV, NewsChannel 5, the Scripps owned TV station in West Palm Beach, Florida. She has won state and local awards as well as multiple Emmy’s for her stories. She loves holding the powerful accountable and spends more time than she would like fighting for access to public information.

Her passion lies in telling multimedia stories that deliver hard hitting facts across multiple platforms. She describes herself as a "data-viz nerd" who is obsessed with new online tools to share information on the web and mobile applications.

She is a contributor to the Radio Television Digital News Association blog and serves as Secretary-Treasurer for SPJ and is a member of SPJ’s FOI, Generation J and Ethics committees.

Lynn is always interested in new projects surrounding FOI, public information access, mobile reporting tools, social media and interactive journalism. She is a proud Bobcat Alumna and graduated from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

Home > Freedom of Information > Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information reports

Freedom of Information
Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information reports

Copies of SPJ's annual Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information reports are available for downloading. All reports are in PDF format.

2010 Report
Cracking The Dam: A Guide To Journalists’ Right of Equal Access To Information

2009 Report
Skirting Censorship in the Muslim World: Discourse Through an Ever-Growing Blogosphere

2008 Report
An End Run Around the First Amendment: “Libel Tourists” Take Aim Overseas

2007 Report
Press Freedom in Africa: Experiences and Modes

2005 Report
“A Questionable Procedure?” Deciding Who Should Be Covered by a Federal Shield Law

2004 Report
A Public Trial in the 21st Century: Cameras in the Courtroom — Public Access for All

2003 Report
HIPPA: How Medical Privacy Regulations are Unhealthy for Journalists

2002 Report
Homeland Defense: Secrecy or Security

2001 Report
Weird Torts: Coming to a Courtroom Near You

2000 Report
Credentialing for Online Journalists: An Evolving Story

1999 Report
SLAPP Back: How the Media Can Take Advantage of State Laws

1997 Report
The Erosion of the Reporter’s Privilege

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Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
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