Freedom of Information Workshop Recap

Matt Topic, BGA outside counsel, presents to the workshop attendees. (photo/Emily Brosious)

Matt Topic, BGA outside counsel, presents to the workshop attendees. (photo/Emily Brosious)

DePaul students and members of the Chicago community joined us and the Better Government Association (BGA) last Wednesday to learn about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and how to use it for reporting. Attorney Matt Topic explained what the FOIA covers, what it doesn’t, and how to file a request with government agencies. He also shared steps for appealing a denied request.

Freedom of Information Request Workshop

You’ve probably heard of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but do you know how to file a request?

“The FOIA has compelled federal agencies to yield millions of documents relating to government operations and performance,” according to SPJ’s website. “Every week, a news organization, scholar or public-interest group somewhere reports information of significance to public health or safety or good governance — based on material gleaned from FOIA requests.”

Join SPJ/ONA DePaul for a FOIA workshop with the Better Government Association. This event is free and open to both members and non-members.

  • When: Wednesday, Jan. 21, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Where: 14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room 1128

Email us at with questions or concerns. See you soon!FOIA Workshop

SPJ/ONA DePaul’s Feature Writing Workshop at De La Salle Institute

SPJ/ONA DePaul's Membership Coordinator Jenna Duddleston helps students with feature story ideas for the yearbook. (Photo / Emily Brosious)

Membership Coordinator Jenna Duddleston helps students with feature story ideas for the yearbook. (Photo / Emily Brosious)

This December, SPJ/ONA DePaul’s executive board members had the opportunity to lead a feature-writing workshop with the high school yearbook class at De La Salle Institute on Chicago’s South Side.

We had a blast working with the students on feature writing fundamentals and storytelling techniques. They dove right into our hands-on writing exercises and seemed excited to pitch their own story ideas and receive feedback from the class. The students impressed us with their enthusiasm and knack for storytelling.

SPJ/ONA DePaul’s executive board organizes community service programs like this each year as part of our commitment to extend journalism into the broader community.