Freedom of Information: A citizen's guide to fighting secret government - Page 2

Local and national organizations that offer a wide range of resources for journalists, citizen activists, and hell-raisers
|
(0)

(510) 208-7744, fap@thefirstamendment.org, www.thefirstamendment.org.

Media Alliance is a nonprofit media center that offers classes on journalism skills, including how to find and use public records. 1904 Franklin St., Suite 500 Oakland, CA 94612. (510) 832-9000, information@media-alliance.org, www.media-alliance.org.

The Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, FOI Committee fights for open access to information and educates members of the public on FOI issues. The group provides a subscription e-mail list for journalists and others involved in FOI and First Amendment issues in California as well as putting on the James Madison FOI Awards. 222 Sutter St, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108 (415) 321-1700, www.spj.org/norcal.

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information conducts research and educates the public in mass-media law and the First Amendment, including public access to government meetings and records and litigation information. University of Florida, College of Journalism and Communications, 3208 Weimer Hall, P.O. Box 118400, Gainesville, FL 32611-8400. (352) 392-2273, www.jou.ufl.edu/brechner.

The Center for National Security Studies works with concerned citizens and groups to expose secret government policies and offers free assistance to those seeking records under the Freedom of Information Act. It also coordinates related litigation. 1120 19th St. NW, 8th floor, Washington, D.C. 20036. (202) 721-5650, cnss@cnss.org, www.cnss.org.

The FOIA Blog, created by an FOIA Washington attorney, has an updated list of documents currently being released by several government agencies infoprivacylaw@yahoo.com, www.thefoiablog.typepad.com.

The Freedom of Information Center of the University of Missouri School of Journalism has a collection of more than one million articles and documents about access to information at the local, state, and federal levels. The center works to ensure compliance with sunshine laws around the country. Its Web site contains links, updates, and tips on FOI inquiries. A free e-mail newsletter provides information on developments in FOI access and issues; you can sign up by contacting umcjourfoi@missouri.edu. University of Missouri, 133 Neff Annex, Columbia, MO 65211. (573) 882-5736, daviscn@missouri.edu, www.missouri.edu/~foiwww.

GovernmentDocs allows people to browse and search thousands of pages acquired through the FOIA and sunshine laws. Registered users can review and comment on documents. www.governmentdocs.org

GovTrack provides information on the U.S. Congress. It compiles information on federal legislation, voting records, and other congressional date and simplifies the language for ordinary citizens. It also indexes all bills, as well as changes to them, in Congress and all roll call votes www.govtrack.us.

Investigative Reporters and Editors provides educational services for investigative reporters and editors. The group's Web site offers FOI-related resource guides, a database of FOI stories, tips for using the Freedom of Information Act, and a database of previous FOI requests. University of Missouri School of Journalism, 138 Neff Annex, Columbia, MO 65211. (573) 882-2042, www.ire.org

The National Freedom of Information Coalition is composed of First Amendment organizations dealing with FOI issues.