Access Across America

Access Across America was a national FOI training tour for journalists in May 2010, sponsored by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, National Freedom of Information Coalition and University of Arizona School of Journalism to spread training in acquiring public records.

Freedom of Information Committee Chairman David Cuillier travelled the country by car providing training for chapters and newsrooms. The intent was to reach as many journalists as possible, particularly those at smaller organizations who can’t afford to send people to conferences.

Supporters of FOI

Thanks to SPJ and the SDX Foundation for providing a $8,250 grant to pay for the tour expenses. The University of Arizona School of Journalism provided some equipment and allowed David to take the time for the tour.

Also, the National Freedom of Information Coalition provided $4,000 toward expenses for bolstering access support throughout the states. NFOIC received its money from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950, the Foundation has granted more than $400 million to advance quality journalism and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

About David Cuillier

David Cuillier has served as an SPJ newsroom trainer in FOI since 2005 and is a frequent writer of FOI Toolbox columns in Quill. A former journalist, Cuillier teaches classes on access to records and conducts research in FOI. He is co-author with Charles Davis of the book, “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records.”

The Final Report

You can view the entire report here (PDF/468 KB), and visit the Access Across America blog here.