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Freedom of Information pointers on offer

The Campaign for Freedom of Information is running training courses to help journalists make effective use of The Freedom of Information Act, which comes into force on January 1.

The Act will require public authorities to reveal information which previously remained secret, and the courses will provide a working guide, offering practical tips and advice on how to formulate requests, avoid pitfalls and navigate around the exemptions.

They will also advise on how to use the public interest test – a critical feature which may require exempt information to be disclosed in the public interest – and how to challenge refusals.

Thousands of public authorities are covered by the UK Act and the parallel Act in Scotland, including Government departments, the police, the armed forces, schools, the BBC and Channel 4, and it applies to information of any age, however long ago it was recorded.

The courses will also cover the right to environmental information under new Environmental Information Regulations, which also come into force on January 1.

An initial half-day morning course for journalists will be held in London on November 8.

It will be led by the Campaign’s director Maurice Frankel, who has been heavily involved with the legislation since its inception.

If you are interested in attending, e-mail

Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or