Institute creates online guide to Illinois’ FOIA

A guide to Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act is now available online from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Recent changes to the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, make it important that not just working journalists, but public officials and also citizens have a primer on current provisions in FOIA and the state’s Open Meetings Act, said David Yepsen, Institute director.

The guide is an “advocacy tool that will hopefully help people with the law,” Yepsen said.

“We need to make sure that citizens are empowered to use it,” Yepsen said. “Some of this can be a little intimidating.”

The 29-page “Citizens Guide to Using the Freedom of Information Act,” is available for download from the Institute’s website, Written by former veteran Illinois political reporter Adriana Colindres, now a public relations specialist for Knox College in Galesburg, the Institute received input from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, William Freivogel, director of SIUC’s School of Journalism, and Josh Sharp, director of government relations for the Illinois Press Association in preparing the guide.