Legal Leaks Toolkit

A guide for journalists on how to access government information

This toolkit is designed for journalists working in any media – newspapers, radio, and television – as well as bloggers and other information professionals who need to get access to information held by public bodies for their stories. It is based on a comparative analysis of the access to information laws in the region covered by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has 56 participating states in Europe, Central Asia and North America.

In 2014-2015 UNESCO, in cooperation with Access Info Europe and SEENPM, organized seven Legal Leaks training workshops in Ankara, Tirana, Sarajevo, Podgorica, Belgrade, Pristina and Skopje in the framework of the EU-funded Project “Media Accountability in South East Europe and Turkey”. About 200 journalists and students in journalism from South East Europe were trained to make full use of access to information laws in their daily work.

All participants received a local version of the Legal Leaks toolkit, which is a detailed guide on how to file freedom of information requests and how to appeal refusals. The Legal Leaks Toolkit was adapted to the local legal framework and translated into local languages. The Legal Leaks training included components of data journalism skills, with training on how to process, analyse and present data obtained under access to information requests, including use of data visualisation techniques.


Local versions of the Legal Leaks Toolkit, which were presented to participants in training workshops organized in the following cities:

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