Freedom of Information Resources

There are many organizations and government agencies engaged in freedom of information issues. Below is just a sampling of some resources that might help with Sunshine Week reporting and events.

From Sunshine Week Principals:

American Society of News Editors
ASNE tracks and advocates freedom of information issues, keeping updates on its website.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
The Reporters Committee is an unparalleled source of information on federal and state open government law and what it means for reporters. Of particular note are the Digital Journalists Legal Guide, the 50-state Open Government Guide, the Federal Open Government Guide, the Federal FOIA Appeals Guide and its mobile app for information any time on your smartphone or tablet device.

Bloomberg News frequently reports on FOIA news, including recent reports on federal FOIA lawsuits and its “Untangling FOIA” analysis of open government in the Obama administration.

From Other Nonprofits and Independent Organizations:

The Art of Access
This blog, a tie-in to the book of the same name, offers resources, tips and other information about freedom of information issues.

Collaboration on Government Secrecy
This initiaive at American University’s Washington School of Law offers links to FOIA resources as well as archived podcasts and webcasts of its seminars and programs.

FAS Project on Government Secrecy
The Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy publishes Secrecy News, with updates on classification and secrecy issues, and links to source materials.

The First Amendment Center
With offices at both Vanderbilt University and the Newseum in Washington, the First Amendment Center explores free expression issues, including freedom of information.

National Freedom of Information Coalition
This nonpartisan alliance of state open government groups publishes state FOI news and other resources on its website. It also houses links to the FOI Center, a reference and research center at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

National Institute on Money in State Politics
The Institute hosts the free online 50-state federal/state database of contributions documenting $50+ billion, plus more than 2 million state lobbyists and clients who register annually. Recent expansions include selected local-level data, collecting independent spending reports for federal campaigns and in 31 states, and political action committees in federal races and in 36 states.

The National Security Archive
The National Security Archive at George Washington University is a leading collector and repository of historical federal information, with a special FOIA page on its website.
This coalition of organizations united to promote government transparency produces a variety of news and analysis, including its annual Secrecy Report and Sunshine Week webinars.

The Poynter Institute
Eugene Patterson Library Director David Shedden has compiled a First Amendment-Freedom of Information bibliography.

Radio Television Digital News Association
RTDNA provides myriad online FOIA resources for broadcast and digital journalists, including a Sunshine Week page featuring its open government PSAs.

Reclaim New York
Reclaim New York has a local government spending database, resources for sending a FOIL request, and an Online Transparency Index where public officials and citizens can evaluate their local government.

Society of Environmental Journalists
This group’s biweekly Watchdog tipsheet is a source of freedom of information news and other information for environmental journalists.

Society of Professional Journalists
The SPJ FOI resources page includes articles and guides to freedom of information issues, including its FOI FYI blog.

Student Press Law Center
The Student Press Law Center is a leading advocate for student press First Amendment rights and a resource for student FOI requestors.

The Sunlight Foundation
This nonprofit is dedicated to utilizing the Internet and digital technology to promote government transparency and public access to information with various projects on a variety of issues.

Sunshine in Government Initiative
The Sunshine in Government Initiative is a coalition of media groups committed to promoting policies that ensure the government is accessible, accountable and open.

Posted in FOIA in Action