FoI's mixed bag shows enough early promise

Three months in, the Freedom of Information Act continues to give journalists a mixed set of results.

So
despite more than 40 requests on the Atorney General’s legal advice
over the war in Iraq, for example, nothing has yet been disclosed.

Yet
although regional journalists are still meeting with some pockets of
resistance, there are plenty of breakthroughs being made as reporters
and editors learn from their mistakes and share information on how best
to approach different subjects.

In this week’s issue we detail
the Burton Mail’s successful exposure of a series of supermarket and
food scandals; the Kent Messenger’s stories about previously
undisclosed foreign trips by local councillors; and the Birmingham
Evening Mail’s series of FoI stories on parking tickets, mobile phones
masts and rat-infested restaurants.

It’s still early days, but these all show that the act is indeed doing what it set out to achieve.

Get the question right, and it will reap dividends.

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