FAC to Mentor Journalists for National Boot Camp

November 22, 2023

Contact: fac@firstamendmentcoalition.org

San Rafael, Calif. – The First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce it will participate in the National Freedom of Information Coalition’s FOI Bootcamp for Journalists of Color program, providing mentorship to three reporters as they pursue public records in California and beyond.

This is FAC’s third year participating in the program, which connects journalists of color with open-government experts and resources in their state to help them sharpen their skills acquiring and using government information and data. This year, open-government organizations based in 13 states including California are mentoring participants.

FAC Advocacy Director Ginny LaRoe and other members of the team will mentor freelance journalist and producer Soobin Kim; Tracey Onyenacho, Youth Voice Editor for the Imprint; and Zhaozhou Dai, Local Data Journalist for the Center for Public Integrity. FAC’s support includes training sessions, regular check-ins on their reporting projects, access to FAC’s legal team to consult on open-government topics, and networking with news industry leaders and other experts.

“We are thrilled to support this important initiative for the third year and look forward to seeing what these journalists accomplish in their careers,” LaRoe said. 

The NFOIC initiative, launched in 2020 to support government accountability and develop new and diverse leaders in the freedom-of-information community, receives support from the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation. The program has connected 67 journalists with mentors since its launch.

Participation is part of FAC’s broader educational programming that includes public and private educational programs on open-government topics, press rights and protest rights. Past workshops have been for groups pursuing law enforcement records, organizations training their members to hold local government accountable, and others. The First Amendment Coalition also offers a suite of published guides on police transparency laws, and using the California Public Records Act and open meetings laws to hold government accountable.