Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists (Paperback) book cover

Freedom of Information

A Practical Guide for UK Journalists

By Matthew Burgess

© 2015 – Routledge

236 pages

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Paperback: 9781138793217
pub: 2015-06-18
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About the Book

Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists is written to inform, instruct and inspire journalists on the investigative possibilities offered by the Freedom of Information Act.

Covering exactly what the Act is, how to make FOI requests and how to use the Act to hold officials to account, Matt Burgess utilises expert opinions, relevant examples and best practice from journalists and investigators working with the Freedom of Information Act at all levels.

The book is brimming with illuminating and relevant examples of the Freedom of Information Act being used by journalists, alongside a range of helpful features, including:

• end-of-chapter lists of tips and learning points;

• sections addressing the different areas of FOI requests;

• text boxes on key thoughts and cases;

• interviews with leading contemporary journalists and figures working with FOI requests.

Supported by the online FOI Directory (, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists is a must read for allthose training or working as journalists on this essential tool for investigating,researching and reporting.

Table of Contents

1. The Act 2. FOI in the media’s view 3. Accessing other information 4. The FOI exemptions 5. How to write a successful FOI request 6. How to utilise FOI 7. Case studies 8. Know your rights 9. Appeals 10. Journalistic considerations 11. FOI Around the World 12. The rise of open data Appendix: Request templates

About the Author

Matt Burgess is a UK-based journalist, who has experience of writing for all the national newspapers as well as editing experience on a wide variety of trade publications.. Many of his stories for these publications have been based on information obtained by the Freedom of Information Act. He is the founder of the FOI Directory website (, a tool for researchers, academics, journalists and anyone involved or passionate about the Freedom of Information Act in the United Kingdom and beyond. Matt is also a frequent speaker on the Act and advises individuals on the best way to make use of it.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies