Reporter awarded nearly $500K in FOIA case

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

A U.S. District judge in San Francisco has ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to pay journalist Seth Rosenfeld $479,459 to cover his attorney's fees for two court cases over FOIA requests the agency didn't reply to.

Rosenfeld first sued the FBI in 1985 and sued again in 2007 for information he wanted about the bureau's relationship with Ronald Reagan. He reported on both subjects in a recently published book that informed a fascinating NPR story earlier this month about a Japanese-American Black Panther who may have been an FBI informant.

Rosenfeld will donate his award to the First Amendment Project in Oakland, Calif., "the organization that litigated the lawsuits free of charge for 20 years," a press release about the award says.

Related: Obama administration’s FOIA record worse than Bush’s

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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