National Press Club

National Press Club Journalism Institute hosts panel on freedom of information, 6:30 pm March 16

February 23, 2016 | By Julie Schoo | jschoo@press.org

The National Press Club Journalism Institute will host a panel discussion on how the U.S. Freedom of Information Act is being applied and how it can be improved at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16.

Tickets, $5 for Club members and $10 for the public, can be purchased online.

FOIA is one of the most important tools at journalists’ disposal for uncovering government information. However, nearly a half-century since its inception, many observers say the FOIA process is hamstrung by delays and overly broad redactions.

The March 16 panel, which will run from 6:30 – 8 p.m., will be comprised of four experts who are intimately familiar with the FOIA process, and each of them has a singular perspective on the subject:

· Jason Leopold, senior investigative reporter at Vice News;
· David Sobel, counsel at Electronic Frontier Foundation and head of its FOIA litigation project;
· Michael Doyle, legal affairs correspondent, McClatchy Newspapers’ Washington Bureau;
· James Holzer, director of the Office of Government Information Services (Federal FOIA Ombudsman).

Christine Walz, an associate at the law firm Holland & Knight and an expert on FOIA, will moderate the discussion.

The U.S. FOIA panel will be complemented by a separate panel discussion focusing on government records access in other countries. Both are part of a series of events on government transparency at the Club during Sunshine Week, March 14 through March 18.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute is the non-profit affiliate of The National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. Through its Press Freedom Committee, the Institute promotes a transparent global society through an independent press.