Journalism students took the tips learned on a Freedom of Information workshop held at Brighton-based training centre The Journalist Works to bag scoops for the News of the World.
Steven Kelly’s story – headlined Toxic Shock – was about accidents involving the transportation of nuclear material, while Anthony Luzio’s – headlined Chavettes – showed how more young women were being fined for being out of control.
Kelly asked the Department of Transport for all the details relating to accidents where nuclear material was being transported and discovered there had been a large number of near misses in the past 10 years.
Luzio sent in an FoI request to police forces around the country and discovered details about the large number of young women getting on the spot fines for disorderly behaviour.
The information for the stories was gleaned following an FoI workshop held by The Journalist Works’ media law lecturer Matthew Davis, an active FoI researcher and partner in press agency John Connor Press Associates.
Davis said: ‘I’m really pleased for both students. They came up with really good ideas, got hold of some great statistics and helped produce what were two excellent stories. I am always banging on to the students about what a powerful tool the FoI Act is for journalists and these two have really proved it.”