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Journalism panel to discuss freedom of information at CMU


A panel of journalists will discuss freedom of information at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 at Central Michigan University.

The event, titled "CMU FOIA: Just How Much Are We Allowed To Know?" will focus on how public information laws work in the state of Michigan, specifically on CMU’s campus. 

The panel discussion, which is being presented by CMU’s Society of Professional Journalists, will be held in Moore Hall Room 105.

SPJ will explore the results of their project in which they audited CMU’s responses to various Freedom of Information Act requests.

According to a press release, the idea for the project was sparked by the university’s withholding of sexual assault incident reports last year.

Journalism faculty and SPJ advisor Ed Simpson thinks that the event will help students know how to get information so they can make their own decisions about the university.

“You can ask for information that will let you take part in the debate,” Simpson said. “Which direction is this university headed? You need information in order to have a good, rational, reasoned discussion. FOIA is specifically designed to provide that.”

This event is a part of a wider SPJ series, Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week is a week of nationally sponsored SPJ events intended to help reporters learn techniques and tactics for investigative reporting.

The event is free and open to the public.