Freedom of Information Act requests (FOIAs) are the backbone of investigative reporting. The FOIA law states that the public has a right to access documents collected on their behalf. FOIA allows reporters to hold the government and its public bodies accountable, but requests often get lost in layers of bureaucracy, delay and often outright denial.
At DePaul University’s Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence, we understand that public records are critical for reporters to be able to hold the government accountable. We aim to be a resource for Midwest reporters and newsrooms, along with student reporters, in all of their FOIA pursuits.
We also produced a three-part podcast series about filing FOIA requests. It includes advice from some of Chicago’s top investigative reporters and FOIA experts.