The Canadian Newspaper Association’s first national Freedom of Information Audit exercise achieved an impact well beyond what was initially anticipated. Unconventionally, reporting on the audit and the audit results themselves were combined in one package of newspaper stories. In an extraordinary collaboration among newspapers and ownership groups that typically see themselves as competitors, the same package of stories was distributed and published nationally, in some cases with the bylines of reporters from competing newspaper groups appearing in major papers in the same city. This resulted in saturation coverage, achieving one of the audit’s primary goals, which was to build public awareness of the state of FOI in Canada.
With over 200 newspaper reports, numerous radio interviews and a nationally broadcast CBC Radio prime time segment devoted to
this issue, more than two thirds of adult Canadian newspaper readers were exposed to the results of the national survey within a week of its first appearance.
To view the 2005 FOI Audit click on the file attachment below: