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The Foilies 2024

The Foilies are co-written by EFF and MuckRock and published in alternative newspapers around the country through a partnership with the Association of Alternative Newsmedia

Recognizing the worst in government transparency.

We’re taught in school about checks and balances between the various branches of government, but those lessons tend to leave out the role that civilians play in holding officials accountable. We’re not just talking about the ballot box, but the everyday power we all have to demand government agencies make their records and data available to public scrutiny.

At every level of government in the United States (and often in other countries), there are laws that empower the public to file requests for public records. They go by various names—Freedom of Information, Right-to-Know, Open Records, or even Sunshine laws—but all share the general concept that because the government is of the people, its documents belong to the people. You don’t need to be a lawyer or journalist to file these; you just have to care.

Read more — and scroll down in the article to read about “The Failed Sunshine State Award: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.”