The FOIA Fellows program provides intensive hands-on training and mentoring for early-career journalists in the Chicagoland area and surrounding states who work at small news organizations, with a special focus on journalists from underrepresented backgrounds.
The fellows come to Chicago for two days to hear from leading Freedom of Information and investigative reporting voices. They’re also paired with mentors to receive personalized feedback on their current projects and FOIA records requests.
2019 FOIA Fellows Program
February 28 — March 1, 2019
The 2019 FOIA Fellows program was sponsored by a generous grant from the Gannett Foundation, which supports the cost of stipends, travel and lodging for the fellows.
Inaugural FOIA Fellows Program
The inaugural CJIE FOIA Fellows program hosted eight young professional journalists on March 1, 2018. Guests of the inaugural CJIE FOIA Fellows program included:
- Jamie Kalven of the Invisible Institute, whose public records research was responsible for breaking open the LaQuan McDonald police shooting story in Chicago and for which Kalven won a George Polk Award
- Sandhya Kambhampati from ProPublica Illinois
- Donald Craven, attorney for the Illinois Press Association
- Sarah Pratt, Public Access Counselor at the Illinois Attorney General’s office