November 29, 2016

MuckRock, the nonprofit dedicated to transparency and open government, announced Tuesday that it’s adding FOIA Machine to its organization. MuckRock, which helps reporters file freedom of information requests and other services for a fee, will maintain a FOIA Machine site separately and keep it free.

“The folks working on FOIA tools is a very small world, so the MuckRock and FOIA Machine teams have gotten to know each other pretty well and we’ve shared tips and kept in touch over the years,” said MuckRock cofounder Michael Morisy in an email. “We were both concerned about increasing barriers to access for regular requesters, as well as what the best way would be to encourage agencies to play nice with our respective platforms.

The more the two organizations talked, the more it made sense to see if they could combine their efforts, Morisy wrote.

FOIA Machine received funding from the Knight Foundation, a crowdfunding campaign and the Reynolds Journalism Institute in 2013. It’s hosted by The Center for Investigative Reporting.

FOIA Machine’s Coulter Jones, Djordje Padejski, and Shane Shifflett will join MuckRock’s advisory board.

“We think this is really important now because we have seen increasing government secrecy at all levels, and we think requesters and the transparency community needs as powerful a voice as possible to push back against that,” Morisy said.

You can explore FOIA Machine’s beta site here.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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