Freedom of Information: A citizen's guide to fighting secret government - Page 3

Local and national organizations that offer a wide range of resources for journalists, citizen activists, and hell-raisers
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It provides resources for the media, government officials, lawyers, and citizens who want access to public information. The coalition also offers seminars and workshops to media professionals, attorneys, academics, students, and the public on FOI issues and helps nurture start-up FOI groups and Internet sites. Its Web site offers links to relevant legislation and organizations state by state, as well as an Internet mailing list, FOI-L. 133 Neff Annex, Columbia, MO 65211. (573) 882-5736, cdavis@nfoic.org, www.nfoic.org.

OMB Watch is a member of the Public Access Working Group, a coalition of organizations promoting greater access to government information. OMB Watch offers an online newsletter, OMB Watcher, available on its Web site or by e-mail, which typically includes articles on FOI issues. To subscribe to the weekly e-mail version, e-mail join-ombwatcher@lyris.ombwatch.org. 1742 Connecticut NW, Washington, D.C. 20009. (202) 234-8494, www.ombwatch.org.

The Project on Government Secrecy is an advocacy and public education project of the Federation of American Scientists. The project has an extensive archive and provides regular news updates through its Web site and e-mail newsletter, Secrecy News. 1725 DeSales Street NW, 6th floor, Washington, D.C. 20036. (202) 454-4691, www.fas.org/sgp/index.htm.

Project Vote Smart provides information on local, state, and national candidates, including voting records, issue positions, campaign contributions, phone numbers, and mailing addresses. The database is accessible by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART. 1 Common Ground, Phillipsburg, MT 59858. (406) 859-8683 comments@vote-smart.org, www.vote-smart.org.

The Radio-Television News Directors Association is the world's largest professional organization devoted to electronic journalism. It lobbies for cameras in courtrooms and strong FOI laws and provides coverage of FOI issues on its Web site. 1600 K St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20006. (202) 659-6510, www.rtnda.org.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press operates the 24-hour FOI Service Center at 1-800-336-4243 to answer emergency questions from journalists and others with open-records problems. 1101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1101, Arlington, VA 22209. (703) 807-2100, rcfp@rcfp.org, www.rcfp.org.

The Society of Professional Journalists advocates for open access to information and educates members of the public on FOI issues. The society's Web site has an FOI section with extensive links to resources and information, including a list of FOI advocacy organizations. 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208. (317) 927-8000, questions@spj.org, www.spj.org.

State Sunshine and Open Records shares information, guidance and advice on developments and news about open records at the state and local level. They also have an extensive list of links to other sunshine blogs. www.openrecords.wordpress.com.

The Student Press Law Center works with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to cover FOI and other First Amendment issues reutf8g to high school and college journalists. It offers free advice, lawyer referrals, and analysis. 1101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209. (703) 807-1904, admin@splc.org, www.splc.org.

The Sunlight Foundation develops a database to ensure transparency in government and fiscal accountability. They digitize new info and provide access to existing information. 1818 N Street NW, Suite 410, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 742-1520.