First Amendment Report Card: C+ for the five freedoms

The five freedoms of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution received a C+ grade from a panel of reviewers brought together by the Newseum Institute. The report card is an effort to assign a grade four times each year to each of the freedoms protected by the First Amendment. Panelists were asked to assign an individual grade to each of the freedoms of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition. (Disclosure: I participated as a [More]

A FOIA Portal, Defined

In recent years groups inside and outside of government have created new tools for FOIA administration, such as iFOIA, MuckRock, and FOIA Machine. In addition, the federal government built its own FOIAonline. Local governments, too, are getting into the game. Many years ago we extolled the virtues of agencies building a system to more efficiently receive, track, process and respond to FOIA requests. And Congress included a portal requirement in legislation  in FOIA Improvement Act of [More]

PRESS RELEASE: Media coalition celebrates President Obama signing of FOIA reforms into law as FOIA turns 50 on July 4

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 2016 [Link to PDF version]   Media coalition celebrates President Obama signing of FOIA reforms into law as FOIA turns 50 on July 4  President Barack Obama’s signature on the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 marks a high point in the half century history of the federal Freedom of Information Act. “We are pleased to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the original Freedom of Information [More]

Adele on Line 2

The good people at the Center for Investigative Reporting announced their new radio show Reveal in a big way:  with their take on Adele’s Hello. It’s a few months old, but it’s so good we had to share. We hope a tribute to Prince is in the works. (“Can you respond to my request from 1999?”) And check out their great FOIA tips.

Let’s fix FOIA by 50!

In one year on the Fourth of July in 2016, the federal FOIA will celebrate its 50th anniversary. We encourage House and Senate leadership to bring FOIA reform for a full vote in the House and Senate. FOIA reform legislation is bipartisan in both the House and Senate. The House bill, H.R. 653, was approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the bill in the Senate (S. 337) was approved by the Senate [More]