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Project Sunshine
Information
A Winning Strategy


Freedom of Information
About/History
News/Articles
Covering Prisons
Project Sunshine: Find FOI Help
Accessing Government Records
Shield Law Campaign
FOI Audit Tookit | PDF
Anti-SLAPP: Protect Free Speech
Official Secrets Act bill
FOI Groups
Annual FOI Reports
FOI Committee Roster
GovernmentAttic.org

FOI FYI: SPJ’s FOI Committee Blog
– Science Writers Survey Looks At Reporter-PIO Dealings
– Every year has 52 ‘sunshine’ weeks
– SPJ FOI Hangout

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.

Home > Freedom of Information > Sunshine Week > FOI Resources

Sunshine Week Logo
Your right to know  •  March 15-21, 2015

FOI Resources


Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week website
Chapter FOI program ideas
Campus FOI resources
FOI activities for newsrooms
Writing about FOI
Quotable expert sources
Curriculum and classroom ideas for teachers
FOI resources
2014 resources: New studies and more
Sunshine Week Logos


SPJ's Black Hole Award: The Society of Professional Journalists launched the Black Hole Award in order to highlight the most heinous violations of the public’s right to know. By exposing examples of unnecessary and harmful secrecy, we hope to educate the public to their rights and hold government accountable. In the past, this award has been given annually. This year, the Freedom of Information committee adapted the rules so that the Black Hole Award is given on an as-needed basis. To view past winners, visit the Black Hole Award web page.

Reporter’s Guide to FERPA: Navigating the Family Education 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 Education 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 with this guide, produced by the Society of Professional Journalists in conjunction with the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

Society of Professional Journalists

FOI FYI
Sunshine Chair in your state
David Cuillier, FOI Committee chairman, 520-626-9694
Open Doors publication guide to access

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Reports and tips regarding access, including a guide to using FOIA and a state-by-state explanation of access laws.
Online FOIA and state request letter generators

Student Press Law Center

Online state records request letter generator and guides to campus records

Coalition of Journalists for Open Government

Tracks issues regarding access issues

Citizen Access Project

State-by-state comparison and ratings of access laws

National Freedom of Information Coalition

Contact coalitions in your state
Also, see http://www.missouri.edu/~foiwww

Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE)

— Keyword searchable morgue of 23,000 investigative stories and 2,000 tip sheets
— Hundreds of FOIA requests that have been filed
— Cheap access to dozens of federal databases
website (Membership required for full use of site)

The Associated Press FOI page

Find news and issues regarding FOI at this website updated by The Associated Press.

Openthegovernment.org

This non-profit group, represented by a variety of organizations including SPJ, has current news and reports on FOI. This group is particularly good at keeping up on federal access issues.

The National Security Archive

This institute separate from government acquires and posts a variety of interesting government documents. Check it out for great story ideas.

Government Attic

This site launched in 2007 gathers a variety of interesting federal records and posts them online, mainly as pdf files, for people to view and use as they like. Great story ideas.

Freedom of Information Center

This center at the University of Missouri School of Journalism provides a ton of information about access to public records laws and access audits.

OMB Watch

This group fights for open government information for citizens, posting news and providing sources and studies on freedom of information. Check it out.

websites with great document-driven ideas you can use in your own community

SPJ Open Doors, records A-Z
IRE Extra! Extra! daily stories
Society of Environmental Journalists story archive
Center for Investigative Reporting story blog
iDig Answers “hit records”
Google News Alerts (Go to Google News, click on “News Alerts”, then set up alerts with keywords such as “public records request” and “freedom of information” and Google will send you links to stories that contain those keywords).


Click here to contact the Project Sunshine Chair in your state.

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