Access Across America Tour stops in San Diego, bringing public records tips –

SPJ National Freedom of Information Committee chair David Cuillier brought his “Access Across America Tour” to San Diego April 28, providing a dynamic and useful workshop on “The Art of Access: Strategies for Getting and Using Public Records for Your Reporting.” 

David Cuillier

Cuillier, who has been an FOI newsroom trainer for SPJ for five years, showed the crowd of 40-some journalists and students how to get in a “document frame of mind” and how to use sneaky psychological strategies to get the documents they want. Cuillier is a former reporter and editor who now teaches journalism at the University of Arizona and is the co-author of “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records.” 

Cuillier was assisted on the San Diego stop of his tour by SPJ-San Diego board member and SPJ Southern California Project Sunshine Chair Jodi Cleesattle, an attorney who has specialized in media law and is a former reporter and editor. Cleesattle, a member of SPJ’s national FOI committee, helped out by explaining some of the nuances of California public records law. 

If you missed the program, you can still catch some of the helpful tips. Click here for a guide to California public records resources and here for a copy of the Access Across America handouts. And, if you’d like to organize a brown-bag lunch-and-learn session in your newsroom or with friends, contact us for a DVD of the “Art of Access” program. 

Follow Cuillier’s travels on the Access Across America Tour on his SPJ blog at


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