The Art of Access
is more than just a highly readable primer on obtaining public records; it's a fantastic, in-depth resource for anyone seeking information from or about their government. This is a guide that can help you turn a public official s right to no into your right to know. --- Pete Weitzel, former managing editor, Miami Herald, and former director of the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government
This clear, concise and timely book provides a step-by-step guide for turning the overhyped rhetoric of transparency into a much-needed reality. Cuillier and Davis, both veterans of the access wars, provide journalists and citizens alike with the keys to unlocking the secrets held in public records that government officials too often like to stow away. Replete with tips from professional journalists, a bevy of relevant websites and many handy checklists, this book is a practical guide for navigating the often bumpy road to getting the government records you want and need. --- Clay Calvert, Professor and Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication, University of Florida
Open government laws such as the Freedom of Information Act provide us with powerful political tools, but we don't always know how to use them. This superb handbook distills the most effective techniques for gaining access to official records. It will help readers become more skillful requesters, and better citizens. --- Steven Aftergood, Director, Project on Government Secrecy
About the Author
David Cuillier, Ph.D., is chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists national Freedom of Information Committee and is a newsroom FOI trainer for the national SPJ on-the-go newsroom training program. He gathered public records as a government reporter and city editor for a dozen years at daily newspapers in the Pacific Northwest. He is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Arizona, teaching computer-assisted reporting, public affairs reporting and access to information. He has earned national honors for his access teaching exercises and research in freedom of information, including the 2007 Nafziger-White Dissertation Award by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication for the top dissertation in the field.
Charles N. Davis, Ph.D., is executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, former chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists national Freedom of Information Committee, and is an SPJ newsroom trainer in FOI. A former newspaper reporter and national correspondent for Dublin-based Lafferty Publications, Davis currently teaches access to information and media law at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has been honored by SPJ with a Sunshine Award for his work in FOI, and in 2009 he was named the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year. In 2009-10 he was head of the Law and Policy Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been published extensively in academic and professional journals, and is first author of the book Access Denied: Freedom of Information in the Information Age.