Why I find Freedom of Information requests fun – and you should too

Maths is something which still creeps in to my life despite leaving it behind at A-Level. The influence technology has and continues to have on journalism has bolstered digital journalism and the way in which writers process information. One of the key sources of information at present are Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, but it’s not just journalists that can submit these.

Photo: Jon S on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Personally, there’s something exciting about waiting for the response to drop into my email inbox after 20 working days – it’s like an early Christmas present. Plus, for someone who loves being analytical and finds mass data sets fascinating, there’s a sense of excitement that comes over me when I see an Excel document attached to the email.

In the past, I’ve found over 200,000 people have signed up to the Emergency SMS text service for 999, and discovered some news regarding my university’s library fines. The news that you can uncover is interesting, and I’m looking to write some more FoI-based stories on this blog in the future.

However, the great thing about FoI requests is that the process is rather straightforward, where you only have to make a request in writing and send it to the respective person at a public body. I know it’s not just journalists that possess this passion to uncover information and find things out (we love a good ‘snoop’ as it were), so why not give it a try yourself?

More information about Freedom of Information requests can be found here.


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