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Five Freedoms:

First Amendment:


FREE Classroom Materials Home

Freedom of Information

Freedom Forum
The Freedom Forum is a national organization that works to promote the First Amendment and publicize violations of it. Its Web site provides news, commentary, analysis and other information on the First Amendment. Browse the Free Press news stories on this Web site or do a search on the Freedom of Information Act (Illinois or other) to get the most current information on FOIA triumphs and violations.

Citizen Access Project
The Marion Brechner Citizen Access Project is part of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information of the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. On their web site, see the laws and information resources involving access to government for any single state, link directly to access provisions in each state's statutes and constitutions, see how well officials obey access laws with performance audits, find specialists on access law in each state, and find background information on access laws in each state.

Illinois Press Association
Since its beginning as an organization for Illinois publishers, the Illinois Press Association (IPA) has grown to serve a diverse group of newspaper owners, editors and reporters. The IPA also runs programs that support educational efforts in journalism and lobbies for press freedoms in the Illinois General Assembly. The Government Affairs & Regs. section of the IPA Web site (found on the left-hand menu bar) also provides Freedom of Information references and services including the text of the FOIA, studies on the usefulness of the FOIA, tips on filing FOIA requests, and sample request and appeal letters.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free legal help to journalists and news organizations. RCFP’s Web site contains the latest news on freedom of information across the country. The site also provides several services, including an automatic letter generator to appeal FOIA violations and a toll-free hotline to answer any FOI question.

Federal FOIA Questions and Answers
Get answers to your questions about requesting information under Federal FOIA and get the details on the provider's responsibilities to you upon requesting information.

Guide to the Illinois FOIA *
The Freedom of Information Act is a pro-disclosure statute that relies on the principle of the public’s right to know. This chapter from the Illinois CFAC's First Amendment Handbook reviews the act’s disclosure requirements and explains how to make a Freedom of Information Request, file an administrative appeal if that request is denied and sue to compel disclosure of records. The numerous statutory exemptions – grounds for denying requests under the act – are also discussed, followed by a brief discussion of the act’s administrative provisions and special problems that arise under the act.

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Open Doors
This program, which was started by the Society of Professional Journalists, was designed to educate the general public on the Freedom of Information Act. It provides articles on nearly every aspect of the FOIA in order to encourage not only journalists, but also everyday citizens to use it to protect their rights to public information. It has features such as FOI basics, FOI Q&A, tips on using the FOIA, resources, and current news.

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act *
Read the full text of the Illinois FOIA.

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Illinois FOIA Questions and Answers *
Find out what private and government bodies you can request records from and which records are considered open to the public. Also learn how to write record request letters, and, if those requests are denied, how to write appeal letters.

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