Learn journalism skills from the best in the craft
Walkley Masterclass: FOI for Journalists
Learn how to use Freedom Of Information (FOI) requests to underpin your journalism with award-winning journalist and Seven News FOI editor, Alison Sandy. Alison will talk through what kind of information is available and all the tricks and traps for getting hold of it.
FOI legislation exists to help citizens access information in the public interest. It’s becoming an increasingly essential tool for journalists, to uncover records and data that might otherwise go unseen. It should be a simple process, but it can be tricky; learn from an expert about how to avoid the obstacles and make the most of this integral research tool for reporting.
Alison will explain what kind of stories can benefit from FOI, what kind of information you can request, costs and fees, and variations in legislation from state to state.
Who should attend
Journalists and interested members of the public who would like to learn the process of making Freedom of Information requests. Journalists looking to build their investigative and research skills. Alison will cover the basics, you don’t need to have experience with FOI.
What you’ll take away
An understanding of Freedom of Information in Australia and the practical steps for lodging FOI requests. Tips for making your FOI request with the best chance of success.
Alison Sandy is a multi-award winning journalist who has been lodging Freedom of Information applications since starting her career 20 years ago. Alison joined the Seven Network in 2014 to become the nation’s first female FOI Editor. Last year, she lodged almost 800 applications nationwide.
On average, the Seven Network puts to air three FOI-related stories a week. Alison is a fierce advocate of the media’s role in holding governments and its representatives to account. She has successfully fought and won several appeals for access to documents under FOI laws and uncovered details that have contributed to positive changes in legislation.
Some of Alison’s more successful investigations include revealing the extent of Child Brides in Australia where children are regularly being forced to marry much older men, and a year-long FOI investigation into the extent of sexual assaults across the nation’s 39 universities.
For the latter, she won an award from the United Nations Association of Australia for the Promotion of Gender Equality – Empowerment of Women and Girls.
Most recently, she has taken on the role of executive producer of the global hit podcast The Lady Vanishes.
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