Public records belong to the public. So where do we get started tracking them down?
Join the National Press Club Journalism Institute to learn what government records you have a right to and how to request them. Whether you’re a journalist, student, parent, community activist, teacher, business owner, or taxpayer, you will learn how to request public records that can help you in your personal and professional lives.
This virtual webinar is designed to help individuals file their first open records request with a local, state, or federal government agency. The Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, provides the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested unless it falls under one of nine exemptions. State and local agencies also have open record laws governing documents produced by government agencies including lawmakers, law enforcement agencies, courts, and school districts, among others. These laws help keep citizens in the know about their government.
During this program, participants will learn:
- Why an individual might file a FOIA or open records request
- The types of public records that exist
- When you should rely on a FOIA or open records request, and other ways to find information
- How to file an open records request
- How to interpret the information you receive
Participants will hear from:
- Kirsten Mitchell is the compliance team lead for the U.S. Office of Government Information Services, which is the federal FOIA ombudsman, and designated federal officer for the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration’s FOIA Advisory Committee
- Lulu Ramadan, an investigative reporter at The Seattle Times and a distinguished fellow with ProPublica's Local Reporting Network
- Mark Walker, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, where he previously was its FOIA coordinator, and the president of Investigative Reporters & Editors