The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records

NEW TO THIS EDITION: 40 additional experts and practitioners offer tips and record ideas for opening new doorways into FOI and open data. The latest online innovations and digital tools for finding and using government data, such as MuckRock, iFOIA and FOIA Mapper, empower students to find data online and acquire it through online platforms. More resources and examples for college students and non-journalists motivate and inspire college students by reading about their successful peers. References to hundreds of new scientific studies discuss experiments that test better ways of requesting records. Infused information about global FOI shows students how to acquire public records across the world and from sovereign American Indian tribes. Research-based psychological strategies are integrated throughout to help students place effective request and overcome illegal denials. A new section on how to sue for public records guide students through the steps they need to take to acquire information legally on their own. Reorganized the popular “Record Album” of cool records in Appendix A by beat topic to make it simple for students to find useful records relevant to his or her interest. New tips on how to make the laws in your state better show students how lobbying and grassroots organization can make a difference in their community. KEY FEATURES: A “Pro Tips” feature showcases advice from some of the best in the business, from media lawyers and prominent journalists to a private investigator and other access experts. At the end of each chapter, a “Try It!” section offers exercises and story ideas that will empower you to start finding and using documents right away. Appendices include a comprehensive list of online FOI resources as well as an annotated Record Album that guides you A – Z to records on everything from abandoned buildings and air quality to workplace safety and zoning. The authors’ blog includes more records ideas, more resources, and the ability to contact the authors to ask questions if you run into problems.

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