Posts Tagged ‘McCormick Foundation’

SPJ FOI Update: Chicago Headline Club releases access survey results

SPJ’s chapter in Chicago, the Headline Club, conducted a survey in early 2011 that shows it can be tough for journalists in the Chicago area to get the public records access they need.

Funded with a $40,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation, the information access study asked local reporters about information request response times. The chapter announced the results Wednesday. The University of Illinois Survey Research Laboratory conducted the Web-based survey in February and March 2011.

According to the study, 51.6 percent of information requests to the federal government took more than 20 days for a response.

The study also found that 66.3 percent of requests to the State of Illinois, 72.5 percent of requests in Cook County, and 66.7 percent of requests for the City of Chicago took more than five days for a response.

The 61-page report is available on the Chicago Headline Club’s website.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).


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