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foia advice

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

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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Requester’s Voice: The Young Turks' Ken Klippenstein

Requester’s Voice: The Young Turks’ Ken Klippenstein

For our Requester’s Voice series, The Young Turks’ senior investigative reporter Ken Klippenstein spoke with us about his love for FOIA, public records reporting during a government shutdown, the perks of going viral, and the “symbiotic relationship” between journalism and activism.

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Requester’s Voice: The Sovereign Bodies Institute’s Annita Lucchesi

Requester’s Voice: The Sovereign Bodies Institute’s Annita Lucchesi

Annita Lucchesi, a doctoral student and freelance cartographer, has filed extensive FOIA requests to create the first centralized database on missing and murdered indigenous women. Lucchesi shared her experiences navigating a system that refuses to keep track of this data.

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FBI's own guide to searching for records requested through FOIA confirms why you should always appeal FBI FOIA searches

FBI’s own guide to searching for records requested through FOIA confirms why you should always appeal FBI FOIA searches

A presentation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Records Management Division uncovered by Paul Galante as part of our Ronald Reagan FBI file crowdsource outline the process used by FOIA officers to search for records.

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Reminder that Congress is (increasingly) exempt from FOIA

Reminder that Congress is (increasingly) exempt from FOIA

Earlier this week, we wrote about Brett Kavanaugh’s renewed Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and predicted that while the full investigation wouldn’t be public for years, likely some summary would be released. In light of reporting that the results of the background check will only be available to the Sentate Judiciary Committee, we wanted to address one of the lesser-known aspects of Freedom of Information Act: the broad exemption of the legislature.

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FOIA FAQ: Appealing fee categories and waivers

FOIA FAQ: Appealing fee categories and waivers

Crafting an appeal can be daunting, but the results are worth it. Here’s some quick tips on what you can do to get an agency to reconsider your fee category, which can result in drastically reduced costs.

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Is there a good FBI FOIA request sample letter?