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Wednesday, February 26

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Technology and Politics Sun Apr 21 2013

The Freedom of Information Act and Chicago Media

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law, with numerous state-level counterparts, that makes government information more accessible to journalist and citizens. Often, one would fill out a FOIA (commonly pronounced "FOY-uh") request in order to obtain information made available by the act.

The city of Chicago tracks FOIA requests made to its various departments, and posts the information on the Chicago Data Portal. A look at which print media outlets submit the most FOIA's gives an interesting look into the size and focus of various publications.

The information on the data portal is based on reporters who identified their publication on the FOIA request, while some requests did not list an organization.

Focusing on the Sun-Times and the Tribune, departments involving police and crime received the most FOIA requests. The data below combines the Chicago Police Board and the Independent Police Review Authority with the Chicago Police Department, although the vast majority of requests in that category go to the Police Department itself.

To learn more, check out the FOIA request logs on the Chicago Data Portal, or click here for the data behind these charts, including a breakdown of which publications FOIA'ed which departments.

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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