A natural companion to Heather Brooke’s introductory Your Right To Know, FOIA Without the Lawyer addresses the challenges that come after the FOI is submitted: the niggling exemptions and excuses used by public bodies to avoid supplying information requested under the Act. Continue reading →
A particularly useful habit of successful data journalists is to think ahead in the way you request data. For example, you might want to request basic datasets now that you think you’ll need in future, such as demographic details for local patches.
You might also want to request the ‘data dictionary‘ for key datasets. This lists all the fields used in a particular database. For example, did you know that the police have a database for storing descriptions of suspects? And that one of the fields is shoe size? That could make for quite a quirky story. Continue reading →
Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark looks at how private companies and police have used infiltration, surveillance, and fake online personas to develop counterstrategies against campaigners which have implications for journalists. I reviewed it here.