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Home > Freedom of Information > Sunshine Week > FOI Resources

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Your right to know  •  March 14-20, 2021

FOI Resources

Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week Toolkit [sunshineweek.org]
Sunshine Week website [sunshineweek.org]
Chapter FOI program ideas
Campus FOI resources
FOI activities for newsrooms
Writing about FOI
Curriculum and classroom ideas for teachers
FOI resources

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. To learn more, 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

Quill: Stories About FOI
Sunshine Chair in your state
SPJ's FOI Committee
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.

Student Press Law Center

Online state records request letter generator and guides to campus records

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)

Open the Government

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.

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
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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