Student lands prison scoop using FoI Act

A third-year journalism student at the University of Sheffield ended up with a front-page splash in the Yorkshire Evening Post following her investigation into the items confiscated from inmates at Wakefield prison.

Hannah Postles, 21, used the Freedom of Information Act to reveal that hardcore pornographic DVDs, mobile phones and a collection of newspaper cuttings about prison staff were among the items inmates had smuggled into the prison.

Her report began as an assignment for a module on investigative journalism. She contacted the Leeds-based Evening Post newsdesk and approached the prison governor, the Home Office and local MPs for their reaction.

Hannah, 21, said: “When I took the information to the newsdesk, I didn’t think in a million years it would make the front-page splash. It was really exciting to see the information from my request develop into a real news story and even more exciting to see the finished story and my byline on the front page the next day.” Postles’ story was also picked up by the national press.

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