Are you a journalist or blogger and want to know more about how you can use the Freedom of Information Act to access secret information? 

This website is teaming up with Paul Gibbons (most commonly known as FOI Man), who has more than 10 years of experience with the FOI Act to, to offer a new training course to teach those in the media how to use the Act.

The one day masterclass will cover everything from the basics of using the Act to insider knowledge on how to increase your chances of getting the information you want.

The FOI Act is an intricately constructed piece of law but we will be drilling through the complexities to show how it can be used in a practical way. Examples that we use will be based on real world use of the Act by journalists and other requesters.

As well as a detailed knowledge of the law Paul has an expert knowledge of how FOI requests get answered by those in public authorities. He has worked for numerous public bodies and seen how officials react to receiving requests, their attitudes to having to disclose information, internal politics,

It is a not a course that will be bogged down in listening to theory. There will also be plenty of time to ask those questions about the FOI Act that you’ve not been sure about and what your chances are of getting certain types of information.

Paul has more information on this on his website. 

What will we cover?

  • What the law means for journalism: how does the law help you to access information?
  • The best stories from FOI requests: how have journalists used FOI to best effect over the last ten years? Be inspired!
  • How public authorities work: an insider’s knowledge of public bodies will help you make the most effective use of FOI.
  • The nuts & bolts of effective FOI use: the best resources for journalists, how to keep track of the requests you make, and how to appeal against refusals.
  • Your friend on the inside? The FOI Officer: the role of FOI practitioners in helping you to achieve your ends, and how requests from journalists are treated.
  • Preparing your request: tips on research, wording your request, and planning your data analysis to ensure that you receive usable data.
  • Request workshop – ask the experts: bring along your information wish-list and we’ll explore how best to achieve the results you want.


The first media masterclass will be held in central London on 30 October 2015.

Cost and booking

For the first of our Media Masterclasses we are offering places at a special introductory rate of £199 per delegate. To reserve a place (or for further details) email or complete the form below. On receipt of your email, an invoice will be issued. Your place will be confirmed once payment has been received. Places are limited so don’t delay!

FOI training for the media

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.