Freedom of information is instrumental to journalism and essential for democracy. This course teaches you how to use the Freedom of Information Act, Public Records Laws and Open Meetings Laws to uphold your right to know the government’s actions. Learn not only the details of FOIA laws in your state, but how to use FOIA to write better stories today. This course will teach you how to determine if something is a public document and how to access it if it is.
What will I learn
- Use the federal Freedom of Information Act to request information.
- Obtain public records and attend meetings under state-level Sunshine Laws.
- Use documents to drive your newsroom.
- See how others have used FOIA to write better stories.
- Use the Web to find more information about FOIA laws in your state.
Who should take this course
This course is for anyone who is interested in the First Amendment or Freedom of Information, or who has ever needed — or anticipates needing — access to a public document.
About self-directed courses
In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.
The Society of Professional Journalists
The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice o journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.
This course was created by Charles Davis and Joel Campbell, co-chairs of the Soceity of Professional Journalists’ Freedom of Information Committee for use in the SPJ/Bloomberg Journalism Training Program, generously funded by Bloomberg News.