For many journalists, FOIA is a scary four-letter acronym, sometimes stifling investigations before they even begin. This guide aims to demystify Freedom of Information Act processes, giving you the tools and confidence to ask for the information you need to write your next investigative story.
Why FOIA requests are so helpful
FOIA is both a federal and state-based law granting individuals and organizations the right to access most governmental agency records. As such, it’s a critical tool that helps journalists in their reporting and writing. Public-records requests are essential to supporting the journalistic values of holding the government accountable and ensuring openness.
Via FOIA, the government provides the information you need; however, the research and analysis associated with the information obtained is left up to you.
What information is available via FOIA
FOIA promises public access to government public meetings and records, which generally includes all documents, files and records made or received in connection with the transaction of official business. Read more