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foia advice

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FOIA 101: Tips and Tricks to Make You a Transparency Master

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Whether it's your first request or your first request *today,* it never hurts to go over the basics. MuckRock's compiled a lot of FOIA advice over the years, and with this project, it's all in one place.

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What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Last week on Slack, we chatted with Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, one of the reporters whose work led to the release of over 11 million records related to lottery winners. Here’s what he had to share on managing national projects, and making the leap to to global reporting.

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FOIA FAQ: What to do when an agency claims not to have records you know it has

FOIA FAQ: What to do when an agency claims not to have records you know it has

One question we get asked a lot here at MuckRock is what to do in situations where an agency claims it has no responsive records when the requester knows the records exist. It comes up with frustrating frequency, we’ve found that the root cause is often one of the five following factors.

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What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Kel McClanahan

What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Kel McClanahan

Last week, Kel McClanahan, the executive director of National Security Counselors, a public interest law firm who often represents intelligence employees, whistle-blowers, and reporters (including MuckRock), joined us on our Slack chat. What followed may not be legal advice, but it sure was interesting.

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Share your story and help us fight FOIA fees around the country

Share your story and help us fight FOIA fees around the country

Our goal at MuckRock is to help you get the records as quickly and affordable as possible. Help us with our goal by sharing your FOIA fee story! Your input will help create useful resources in tackling request fees and developing strategies that all requesters can use.

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What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Jessie Gomez

What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Jessie Gomez

Last Friday, MuckRock’s Sam Whitmore Media Survey Fellow Jessie Gomez joined us for our weekly Friday FOIA Chat on MuckRock’s Slack Channel. Gomez is currently working on building FOIA resources for researchers and journalists, and one of the problems she is looking to tackle is the complicated, varying, and often baseless FOIA fees. Here’s some strategies that came out of the conversation.

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Is there a good FBI FOIA request sample letter?