July 17th, 2013

"Free" information is not always free

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), called “FOY-ah” by journalists, is at the heart of public demands for government accountability. This federal law says anyone can make a freedom of information request. Many states have similar legislation, often called sunshine laws. 

Sounds easy, right? 

But there’s a catch: FOIA is riddled with exceptions, its rules differ widely from agency to agency and state to state, it often requires legal expertise to surmount bureaucratic brick walls, and “free” requests can end up costing a bundle of money. Those who have abused public trust often are able to hide behind all of this bureaucracy. Their secrets, held in millions of government documents, simply won’t reveal themselves. 

Help kickstart FOIA Machine — an open online solution to automate the Freedom of Information Act process. It’s like TurboTax for government records.

  1. other-stuff reblogged this from silas216
  2. silas216 reblogged this from centerforinvestigativereporting
  3. cutebronto reblogged this from cognitivedissonance
  4. polyscinerd reblogged this from cognitivedissonance
  5. shinobivsdragon reblogged this from cognitivedissonance
  6. quixylvre reblogged this from cognitivedissonance
  7. relativityspeaks reblogged this from cognitivedissonance
  8. cognitivedissonance reblogged this from centerforinvestigativereporting
  9. dowehaveterms reblogged this from centerforinvestigativereporting
  10. brokinhalo reblogged this from centerforinvestigativereporting
  11. paperinthewind reblogged this from centerforinvestigativereporting
  12. guardianspiritofthewaters reblogged this from centerforinvestigativereporting and added:
    what a good idea
  13. centerforinvestigativereporting posted this
Loading tweets...


At The Center for Investigative Reporting, we believe journalism that moves citizens to action is an essential pillar of democracy. Since 1977, CIR has relentlessly pursued and uncovered injustices that otherwise would be hidden from the public eye. Today, we are upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to produce important stories that make a difference and engage our audiences across the aisle, coast to coast, and worldwide. What drives our work isn't profit – it's impact. Learn more at http://cironline.org/