MuckRock’s FOIA Slack has grown to over 3,000 registered members, and we’re kicking off a new round of Slack FOIA Chats focused on issues ranging from making the most of resources from the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press to tips from one of America’s most prolific requesters, as well as insight on how to dig into cold case murder files.
Chris McDaniel is currently a reporter for BuzzFeed News covering execution drugs. This week, Chris lets us in on some helpful FOIA tricks, tells us how the Missouri DOC paid executioners in cash, and talks about battling increasing secrecy in the death penalty world.
Last weekend, MuckRock’s Michael Morisy and Allan Lasser headed to a FOIA Hackathon hosted by the BuzzFeed Open Lab, bringing with them six years of our public records data - all 112GB of it. Here’s a run-down of some of the amazing things people did with it.
On April 23, MuckRock is joining BuzzFeed and dozens of other transparency enthusiasts to figure out what we can learn from a database of tens of thousands of FOIA and public records requests. Join us, in person or on the web, and let’s make FOIA a little more open.
In March 2014, Jonah Peretti, founder of HuffPo and BuzzFeed, spoke at the University of Florida and was paid $40,000 plus “first class expenses.” Thanks to public records law, we have a copy of the presentation, which compares growth of Judaism and Mormonism to demonstrate that “quality religions don’t just go viral on their own”