Freedom of Information and Your Right to Know

Course Overview

Freedom of Information and Your Right to Know
Self-Directed Course
Time Estimate:
Two to three hours.

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

Freedom of information is instrumental to journalism and essential for democracy. This course teaches you how to use the Freedom of Information Act, Public Records Laws and Open Meetings Laws to uphold your right to know the government's actions. Learn not only the details of FOI laws in your state, but how to use FOI to write better stories today.

This course will teach you how to determine if something is a public document and how to access it if it is.

What Will I Learn:

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Use the federal Freedom of Information Act to request information.
  • Obtain public records and attend meetings under state-level Sunshine Laws.
  • Use documents to drive your newsroom.
  • See how others have used FOI to write better stories.
  • Use the Web to find more information about FOI laws in your state.
Who should take this course:

This course is for anyone who is interested in the First Amendment or Freedom of Information, or who has ever needed — or anticipates needing — access to a public document.

Training Partner:

Society of Professional Journalists

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.