Freedom of Information legislation has given unprecedented access to over 140,000 public organizations in the United Kingdom and Ireland. But using it effectively requires constantly updated training for journalists representing an ongoing challenge to educators. Despite the legislation’s flaws patterns of media use and issues have emerged since it became effective in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2005. This research tracks two cohorts of journalism trainees in two countries who trained in FOI use, eight and 11 years ago. The findings outline novel teaching techniques the graduates found helpful, such as online interactive resources and an action-based project. It identifies areas for improvement such as incorporating the importance of the informal FOI request system, key exemptions, costing structures and the appeals process. It also examines the scope for better utilising the act such as exploiting more new types of databases being created by public authorities.
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Nov 2013|
- Freedom of Information FOI FOIA Exemptions Press Freedom Right to Know Environmental Information Regulations Journalism training Transparency Openness Data Journalism