Persistence pays off for Greenwire reporter Darren Samuelsohn who filed his first Freedom of Information Act request for it back in July 2008, re-filed it in January 2009 at the start of the Obama administration, and finally received it October 13, 2009.
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An online compendium of key source documents behind all the big stories seems on its way for future reference from ProPublica, thanks to a Knight News Challenge $719,500 grant.Topics on the Beat:
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says Congress has to do more to fix the Freedom of Information Act — especially stemming the hundreds of special exemptions created by Congress itself.
A federal law protecting reporters who maintain the confidentiality of their sources is currently stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee as Obama breaks campaign promise.
Some justices skeptically questioned a 10-year-old law, intended to outlaw "crush videos," making it a criminal offense to possess or publish many depictions of cruelty to animals.
A de facto filibuster by several Republicans, plus quibbling by some Democrats, caused a long-awaited markup of bill S 448 to end with no action.
Use this roundup of sources to write a probing story about the ash, slag, and sludge from coal-burning electric utilities — which containins heavy metals that can pollute water, and even bury people's houses.
OMB Watch, a fierce FOI advocacy group, says EPA has been working hard to push hitherto restricted data out to the public, citing the earliest-ever release of TRI data, monitoring data on atrazine in water, and more.
Several media organizations have joined the case of a Puget Sound resident denied information, under the "law enforcement" exemption to FOIA, that would identify the locations and potential blast ranges of explosive ordnance stored in the area.Region:
The Philadelphia Inquirer explores the implications of an electric meter that knows when you are sleeping, when you are awake, and a lot more besides.