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A User-Friendly Guide to FOIA

May 14, 2010

So, you want to learn how to use FOIA?

This package of stories is a guide to Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act. It’s designed to help citizens understand the law and file requests for public information.

While FOIA requests are often filed by journalists and government entities, FOIA is also an important tool for citizens. This user-friendly guide is intended especially for them. It is designed to be a one-stop information zone for citizens who want to understand or exercise their rights under FOIA.

On the website, readers will find an article that explores citizens’ use of FOIA, a showcase of transparency-related bills from the 2010 Virginia legislative session and many other resources, including a lesson plan that high school teachers can use.

Citizens and students who are informed about transparency and access-related laws and the purpose they serve will be more knowledgeable about their First Amendment rights and how to use them.

Here is an index to this user’s guide to FOIA:

FOIA: It’s Not Just for Journalists Anymore

FOIA Quick Facts

Transparency Prevails in 2010 Legislative Session

FOIA Help Links

FOIA Lesson Plan for High School Teachers

— Catherine MacDonald and Sarah Sonies