The NUJ is introducing special training courses to familiarise journalists with the Freedom of Information Act in preparation for when it becomes law on January 1.
According to the union, “most of today’s hard-pressed reporters will have neither the time nor the skills to get into the business of making applications”.
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To help them, the NUJ is adding a series of specialised courses to its professional training programme. There will be a pilot course in October and open courses towards the end of the year.
Heather Brooke, journalist and author of the forthcoming book, Your Right to Know: A Guide to the Freedom of Information Act, will teach the courses.
She said that while researching the book, she realised that only a handful of journalists in the UK know how to use access laws to get information.
“Few have a good understanding of where to find public records or of what to do with this information once they get it.”
By Wale Azeez