The National Freedom of Information Coalition’s $5,000 grant from the SPJ Foundation helped 24 journalists of color sharpen their skills in acquiring public records and connected them to experts in more than 12 states.
The FOI Bootcamp for Journalists of Color provided a two-hour virtual training on records access, analyzing data, and serving disadvantaged communities. Attendees also participated in the SPJ conference and NFOIC summit. Each participant was paired with a local FOI expert, most often a director of their respective state coalition for open government, to build long-term mentorships.
One participant said, “I enjoyed meeting other people working toward the same goal and learning what resources are readily available to me.” Another participant added, “This program gave me the opportunity to understand FOIA and its processes.”
Justin Silverman, executive director of New England First Amendment Coalition, stated, “We’re honored to be a part of the program and to help local journalists in this new way. The FOI Bootcamp is an exciting opportunity to connect reporters with the resources they need to pursue transparency.”