It’s been 50 years since the federal Freedom of Information Act was signed into law. A lot’s happened since then – not all of it good for the press. We’re calling this bonus episode “The State of the FOIA” because, over the next 30 minutes, we’ll be talking to three experts to figure out what our open records law looks like today and where we go from here. Media law scholar Jonathan Peters will provide some context on changes to the law, and reporters Philip Eil and Jason Leopold will help prepare us for our next FOIA battle by sharing stories of their hard-fought cases.
Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week’s podcast? We’ve collected them for you.
- Read Jonathan Peters’ articles on press freedom in the Columbia Journalism Review.
- See Philip Eil’s initial FOIA request for evidence from a prescription drug dealing trial, along with the exhibit list.
- Read about six lessons Philip Eil learned from his five-year FOIA battle.
- Read the New York Times’ profile of Jason Leopold
- Listen to more FOIA tips from Jason Leopold. We talked to him earlier this year for the podcast episode, “Tips from a FOIA Terrorist.”
Riley Beggin reported this story. Blake Nelson illustrates our episode artwork. Daniela Vidal is our host. IRE Web Editor Sarah Hutchins edits the podcast. We are recorded in the studios of KBIA at the University of Missouri.
Day Bird (Broke for Free) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Almost Alright (Noveller) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Enthusiast (Tours) / CC BY-NC 4.0