Thursday, March 8, 2012

Open Government Training for Journalists and Citizen-Journalists

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Free training seminar for journalists, citizen-journalists and any interested individuals.  Celebrate Sunshine Week by learning the best practices for obtaining access to government records and helpful methods for effectively using the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and Illinois Open Meetings Act.

When:             Saturday, March 17, 2012, 12 – 2 p.m.
Where:            Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams, Room 580
Agenda:          Introduction by Stephen Franklin (Chicago Headline Club)

Attorneys Maryam Judar (Citizen Advocacy Center) and Natalie Brouwer Potts (Center for Open Government) address the following topics:

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):  the nuts and bolts of making a request, getting help from the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor, appealing FOIA denials, obtaining records in the most useful format, submitting standing requests and how to sue the public body.  We will review sample FOIA letters and discuss common FOIA problems.
  • Open Meetings Act (OMA):  monitoring government meetings, how to spot and challenge an improper closed session, and typical First Amendment issues.  We will review examples of OMA violations.
  • Angela Caputo of the Chicago Reporter:  hear from a journalist with a history of FOIA and open government experiences.
  • General Questions:  We will leave time for general questions from the audience.  For specific advice, you will have an opportunity to speak with the attorneys after the training to set up a free consultation.

RSVP: Please email the Chicago Headline Club at to confirm attendance by March 16, 2012.  Attendance is free.  Everyone is welcome.  Please indicate any specific topics you would like the training to address in the RSVP.  

The Open Government Training for Journalists and Citizen-Journalists is sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club, Citizen Advocacy Center and Center for Open Government.

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