Using FOIA: A Talk and Demo of MuckRock
Using FOIA: A Talk and Demo of MuckRock, a website empowering citizens and journalists to write, file and track public records requests online, and its new FOIA Logs tool with Derek Kravitz, Investigations and Data Editor at MuckRock
This talk and demonstration is an invitation to play, experiment with, and learn about MuckRock, an open-source web transparency platform that assists citizens in preparing, filing, and tracking public record requests to government agencies. The site enables users to access government documents and data covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open-records laws, ensuring that citizens can acquire information vital to the functioning of their government. As part of the training, participants will be given a tour of a new service launching from MuckRock called FOIA Logs, which allows users to lookup, review, and download previous FOIA requests placed to various departments and agencies across the government. Learn about the interface, discover how the site integrates NLP and Machine Learning principles, and understand how the tools might impact your workflow as a journalist and storyteller.
Leading the session is Derek Kravitz, MuckRock's investigations and data editor. With an illustrious career that includes roles as research director at ProPublica, and stints at The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, and The Washington Post, Kravitz brings a wealth of experience. He has been recognized multiple times for his contributions to journalism, being a two-time Livingston Award finalist, participating in three Pulitzer Prize finalist teams, and having projects he edited or reported on receive numerous accolades. Derek's endeavors also extend to grant-funded initiatives through Columbia and Stanford's Brown Institute for Media Innovation, as well as the founding of the Documenting COVID-19 project and the MISSING THEM project at THE CITY.
This event is planned to take place in person at the Brown Institute in Pulitzer Hall (Columbia Journalism School).
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