Canada FOI Resource Website

By Stanley Tromp, Vancouver
Freedom of information policy, study, law reform, journalism

A non-governmental resource site

Canadian and world FOI

The Access to Information Act and Cabinet confidences: a discussion of new approaches. A study prepared by RPG Information Servicses Inc. for the Information Commissioner of Canada. Ottawa, 1996.

Adie, Robert and Paul G. Thomas, Canadian Public Administration: Problematical Perspectives. Scarborough: Prentice-Hall, 1987.

Australian Law Reform Commission, (1995) Open Government: A Review of the Federal Freedom of Information Act 1982, ALRC 77

BBC TV publications, Yes Minister. From the private diary of Sir Humphery Appelby. Espisode titled Open Government. London, 1981

Berger, Carl, Clio’s Craft: A Primer of Historical Methods, edited by T. Crowley. Toronto: Copp Clark, Pittman, 1988

Bok, Sissela, Secrets: on the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982

Boudreau, Lt. Col. Brett, Force for Change or Agent of Malevolence? The Effect of the Access to Information Act in the Department of National Defense. Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, Summer 2000.

British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA), A Chance for Transparency: The Federal Accountability Act and Public Access to Information. Vancouver, May 2006

Burgman, Cecelia, St. Kitts and Nevis Freedom of Information Bill 2006, analysis by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, 2007

Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL), Report on Access to Information in Canada. Civil Society Follow-up of the Quebec City Summit of the Americas Plan of Action. Ottawa, Canada. August 2004

Canadian Newspaper Association, In Pursuit of Meaningful Access to Information Reform: Proposals to Strengthen Canadian Democracy, Toronto: CNA, 2004

Information Legislation in Canadian Jurisdictions, 2012

Conservative Party of Canada federal election platform, Stand Up For Canada. 2006

Crawford, Michael, The Journalist’s Legal Guide. 4th ed. Toronto: Carswell, 2002

Crearar, Catherine, Access to information; Bill C-43, paper presented to CPSA annual meeting, 1981

Doherty, Michael, A Prescription for “Dr. Doe”- Proposed Revisions to s. 13 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre, 2004

Douglas, Kristen, Access to Information Legislation in Canada and Four Other Countries. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Law and Government Division, 2006

Drapeau, Colonel Michel W., and Marc-Aurele Racicot, Federal Access to Information and Privacy Legislation, Annotated 2019. Toronto: Thomson Carswell, 2018

Duplessis, Yvon, and Jean Hétu, Accès à l’Information, Loi sure l’accès aux documents des organismes publics et sur la protection des renseignements personnels, Indexée, annotée et commentée, Québec: Les Éditions Yvon Blais Inc, 1991

Flaherty, David, British Columbia information and privacy commissioner, Annual report 1996-97

Fortier, Louis, Législation canadienne sur l’accès à l’information / Canadian Legislation on Access to Information. Toronto: Carswell, 1996

Gomery, Justice John H., Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities. Restoring Accountability: Phase 2 Report, Recommendations. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Service, 2006.

Grace, John, Information Commissioner of Canada. Toward a Better Law: Ten Years and Counting. Recommendations for ATI Act reform, in 1993-94 Annual Report. Ottawa

Hajili, Rashid, Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Freedom of the Media: Protection of Journalists and Access to Information. Vienna, 2006

Hallo, Ralph E., Public Access to Environmental Information. Report for the European Environment Agency, 1997

Haraszti, Miklós, Access to information by the media in the OSCE region: trends and recommendations, Representative on Freedom of the Media, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Vienna, April 30, 2007

Cabinet Office on the Operation of the Australian Freedom of Information Act 1982, Canadian Access to Information and Privacy Acts 1982 and the New Zealand Official Information Act 1982. London: Home Office, 1987

Hazell, Robert, Freedom of Information in Canada – Report to the Cabinet Office (M P O) on the Operation of the Access to Information and Privacy Legislation in Canada. Ottawa, Treasury Board of Canada, 1987

Hofley, Randall, Craig Collins-Williams, Stikeman Elliott LLP, A Thematic Comparison of Access Legislation Across Canadian and International Jurisdictions. A report for the federal Information Commissioner’s office, Ottawa, May 2008

House of Commons, The Access to Information Act: First Steps Towards Renewal: Report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, June 2009, chair Paul Szabo

Jackson, Robert, and Doreen Jackson, Politics in Canada: Culture, Institutions, and Behaviour in Public Policy, second edition. Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice Hall Canada, 1990.

Johansen, David, Federal and Provincial Access to Information Legislation: An Overview. Parliamentary Information and Research Division. Ottawa, 1997, revised May 2005

Justice Department of Canada, A Comprehensive Framework for Access to Information Reform: A Discussion Paper. Ottawa, April 2005.

Justice Department of Canada, The Steps Ahead. The government’s respsonse to the report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Solicitor General. Ottawa, 1987

Justice Department of Canada, Strengthening the Access to Information Act, a Discussion of Ideas Intrinsic to the Reform of the ATIA. Ottawa, 2006

Kaufmann, Daniel, and Ana Bellver, Transplanting Transparency: Initial Empirics and Policy Applications. World Bank Institute, Washington DC, August 2005.

McKie, David,, Digging Deeper, A Canadian Reporter’s Research Guide. 2nd ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2010

Mendel, Toby, head of the Law Programme of Article 19, The Public’s Right to Know: Principles of Freedom of Information Legislation. London, June 1999

Mendel, Toby, Freedom of Information: A Comparative Legal Survey. Second Edition. Revised and Updated. UNESCO: Paris, 2008

McNairn, Colin, and Christopher Woodbury, Government Information: Access and Privacy, with looseleaf supplements. Toronto: Carswell, 2007

MPs’ Committee on Access to Information, A Call for Openness, Ottawa (November 2001). Chaired by John Bryden, MP.

Neuman, Laura, ed., Access to Information, a Key to Democracy (Chapter: ‘Access to Information: How is it Useful and How is it Used? Key Principles for a Useable and User-Friendly Access to Information Law’ by Dr. Richard Calland), Atlanta, Georgia, November 2002

Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada, Open Government Act: Notes, Sources and References. Ottawa, January 2008

Open Government Canada (OCG), From Secrecy to Openness: How to Strengthen Canada’s Access to Information System. Toronto, July 2001

Ouston, Rick, Getting the Goods: Information in B.C. Vancouver: New Star Books, 1990

Québec Commission d’Accès à l’Information, Reforming Access to Information: Choosing Transparency, 2002

Rankin, Murray. Freedom of Information in Canada: Will the Doors Stay Shut? Ottawa: Canadian Bar Association, 1977

Rankin, Murray, The Access to Information Act 25 Years Later: Toward a New Generation of Access Rights in Canada. A report for the federal Information Commissioner’s office, Ottawa, June 2008

Reid, John, Information Commissioner of Canada. Blueprint for Reform. Recommendations for ATI Act reform, in 2000-01 Annual Report. Ottawa

Reid, John, Information Commissioner of Canada, Access to Information Act – Proposed Changes and Notes. Ottawa, 2005

Right to Know Coalition, The Right to Information requires a Duty to Document, Halifax, 2016.

Roberts, Alasdair, Limited Access: Assessing the Health of Canada’s Freedom of Information Laws, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, Ontario, 1998.

Roberts, Alasdair, and Jonathan DeWolfe & Christopher Stack, An Evidence-Based Approach to Access Reform, School of Policy Studies Working Paper 22, Queen’s University, Ontario, 2001

Roberts, Alasdair, Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006

Roberts, Alasdair, Two Challenges in Administration of the Access to Information Act.

Roberts, Hon. John, Legislation on Public Access to Government Documents – The Green Paper. Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1977

Rolfe, Chris, and Rodney Wilts, Whistleblower Protection: Strategies for B.C. West Coast Environmental Law, Vancouver, 2002

Rowat, Donald, ed., The Making of the Federal Access Act: A case study of policy-making in Canada. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1985

RPG Information Services Inc., The Access to Information Act and Cabinet Confidences – A Discussion of New Approaches (Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1996). Report prepared for the Information Commissioner of Canada.

Rubin, Ken, Reflections of an information rights warrior. Speech to FIPA Awards event, Vancouver, Nov. 19, 2001

Ruvinsky, Maxine, Investigative Reporting in Canada. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2008

Segal, Hugh, The Critical Role of Information in a Democracy – A New Approach to Public Disclosure. Access to Government and Corporate Information Conference, University of Winnipeg, May 2002.

Simpson, Jeffrey, The Friendly Dictatorship. McClelland and Stewart, 2001

Standing Committee on Justice and Solicitor General on the Review of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, report, Open and Shut: Enhancing the Right to Know and the Right to Privacy. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer of Canada, 1987

Snell, Rick, Administrative Compliance and Freedom of Information in Three Jurisdictions: Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Paper presented at Conference on Freedom of Information – One Year On, St. Patrick’s Hall, Dublin, Ireland, April 1999.

Sysnovators Ltd., The Access To Information Act: A Critical Review (Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 1994). Report prepared for the Information Commissioner of Canada

Treasury Board Secretariat, Access to Information and Privacy Coordinators: Their Status and Role. Ottawa, 1988

Treasury Board Secretariat and Justice Department of Canada, Access to Information: Making it Work for Canadians; Report of the Access to Information Review Task Force. Ottawa, 2002. Appended with 29 research reports.

Tromp, Stanley, FOI Directors Caught in Crossfire. Bulletin of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. Vancouver, November 1999

Tromp, Stanley, The Hallmarks of Fairness: Improving Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. FIPA, 2010

Tromp, Stanley, The Vanishing Record. A report on needed improvements to British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With 67 recommendations for reform. Vancouver, 2016

U.S. Department of Justice, Freedom of Information Act Guide, May 2004

Wessels, Leon, Guide on how to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000. Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, 2007

Journalism Review Index

A resource for journalism students and media scholars

There are several thousand articles on journalism topics available in archived issues of journalism review magazines around the world. These range from philosophical to practical; several are time-dated, others timeless; some are localized, others universal. This index of citations notes only English language journals; there are more in other languages.

Many links below will lead one to full article texts on the journal’s website, others only citations. Some articles are accessible for pay; most are free. Besides browsing, readers can also search each file of citations (by Cntl-F) by keywords, and with * wild cards, e.g. for “libel chill”, “protecting sources”, “freedom of information,” etc. (The journal articles are copyrighted. Please support such journalism organizations whenever possible.)   – Stanley Tromp

United States

American Journalism Review is a national magazine that covers all aspects of print, television, radio and online media. The magazine (formerly the Washington Journalism Review, WJR, which began in 1977) is published six times a year, by the University of Maryland Foundation with offices in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Website

Founded in 1961 under the auspices of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, CJR examines day-to-day press performance as well as the forces that affect that performance. The magazine is published six times a year, and offers a deliberative mix of reporting, analysis, criticism, and commentary. Website and daily blog The Kicker

  • Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Journal.Print edition paid content, available by membership, and at some university and college libraries.  Free stories at Online Journal

The IRE is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. Based at the University of Missouri journalism school, it was formed in 1975 to create a forum in which journalists throughout the world could help each other by sharing story ideas, newsgathering techniques and news sources. Website

As well, see IRE blog “Extra! Extra! Your Guide to the Latest Investigative Work.” IRE subscribers can also access 3,000 how-to Tipsheets

  • Gateway Journalism Review (GJR).Back issues are not online yet. Gateway Journalism Review critically analyzes the mass media in the Midwest stretching from Ohio to Oklahoma and from North Dakota to Arkansas.From Southern Illinois University’s School of Journalism.   Website
  • Quill.The Society of Professional Journalists’ national magazine.Archives since 2001.  Founded 90 years ago, Quill is published 6 times a year from Indianapolis.    Website
  • AEJMC Journals. The Association for Education in Journalism publishes three scholarly journals:Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly; Journalism & Mass Communication Educator; Journalism & Communication Monographs.Website
  • Student Press Law Centre.Newsletter archives since 1996. Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been the nation’s only legal assistance agency devoted exclusively to educating high school and college journalists about the right and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment and supporting the student news media in their struggle to cover important issues free from censorship. Website
  • Media Law Resource Center. New York. Articles and reports since 1983.  Website
  • Uplink.Archives since 2007. The online magazine of National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR)

Great Britain

The British Journalism Review, published quarterly, is designed as a forum of analysis and debate, to monitor the media, and to raise the level of dialogue.  Website


  • Media Magazine.Archives since 1998.  A quarterly from the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ).
  • Ryerson Review of Journalism.Archives since 1984.  The Review, founded 1983, is a magazine that examines Canadian journalism. Produced by final-year students at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism in Toronto, it comes out twice a year.
  • UBC Thunderbird.Archives since 2007.The student publication of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), which showcases the work of students in the Integrated Journalism course.
  • LangaraJournalism Review. Archives since 2006. In the Diploma Program of Langara College’s journalism school (Vancouver), students produce the Review, an annual magazine covering media issues and personalities in Western Canada.
  • King’s Journalism Review.Archives since 2007.  Produced three times a year by students in the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • The Publisher.Archives since 2009.  The bi-monthly trade journal of daily and community newspaper publishing in Canada – from Newspapers Canada, a joint initiative of the Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA) and the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA).   Website
  • Update.Archives since 2001.  Newsletter of the British Columbia Yukon Community Newspapers Association (BCYCNA). Update was replaced in 2009 by a new blog.
  • Canadian University Press (CUP)commentary

South Africa

The Rhodes Journalism Review, established in 1990 and published by the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, is a specialist magazine for journalists in South Africa and Africa.    Website


Australasia and beyond

The Pacific Journalism Review, founded at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1994, is a peer-reviewed journal covering media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. It is now published by the Pacific Media Centre, AUT University, and has links with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism and the University of the South Pacific.  Website

  • Australian Journalism Review.AJR is published twice a year. The editor is the Director of the Postgraduate Journalism Program at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.   Website 
  • Reportage.Published by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, which is a part of the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Website
  • Philippine Journalism Review.The referred journal of the Centre for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).It is the only referred journal in Southeast Asia devoted to journalism concerns and issues, and is published annually.  Website
  • Online Journalism Review –Website. Archives since 2004 at bottom right.

In 2006, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided a grant to the USC Annenberg and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism to relaunch the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism as the Knight Digital Media Center, which presents the Online Journalism Review.   


Links to investigative journalism resources, including funding

List of good books on investigative journalism

American sources

Canadian sources


Other resources

Specialized groups of journalists:




 United States


Great Britain