Making Freedom of Information Work; An Evaluation of an Interactive Approach To Teaching Journalism Students How To Use It Effectively

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalUnknown Journal
Volumen/a
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

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freedom of information
journalism
legislation
exemption
public authorities
Teaching
evaluation
trainee
journalist
Ireland
appeal
student
graduate
educator
resources

Keywords

  • Freedom of Information FOI FOIA Exemptions Press Freedom Right to Know Environmental Information Regulations Journalism training Transparency Openness Data Journalism

Cite this

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title = "Making Freedom of Information Work; An Evaluation of an Interactive Approach To Teaching Journalism Students How To Use It Effectively",
abstract = "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.",
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author = "Colm Murphy",
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Making Freedom of Information Work; An Evaluation of an Interactive Approach To Teaching Journalism Students How To Use It Effectively. / Murphy, Colm.

In: Unknown Journal, Vol. n/a, 11.2013, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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