Resources: FOIA Request Examples

Center for Community Media’s FOIL Request to New York State Department of Health

New York State Department of Health
Records Access Office
Corning Tower, Room 2364
Albany, New York 12237-0044
Via email:

RE: Freedom of Information Request


Records Access Officer,

Pursuant to the New York State Freedom of Information Law (1977 N.Y. Laws ch. 933), I hereby request the following records:

Any and all invoices and supporting documents that specify details of media purchases or media placements by the vendors:


Please limit the scope of this search from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022. I am a journalist and request that fees be waived as this request is in the public interest.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service provided by the Center for Community Media at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. This request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would appreciate you informing me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by email attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Thank you,



Chicago Independent Media Alliance’s FOIA request to ASPIRA of Illinois

Via: Email to
Attention: Freedom of Information Officer
ASPIRA of Illinois
3013 North Monticello Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60618
October 13 2020


Dear Records Custodian,

This is a request under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The timeframe for this request is January 1, 2015 to the present day. I request copies of the following documents relating to advertising purchased by ASPIRA, or any offices or agencies organized under ASPIRA for the purposes of FOIA:

1. Any contracts or otherwise articulated agreements between ASPIRA and any third-party firms contracted to purchase advertising or otherwise provide public relations or marketing services to ASPIRA

2. If the above-mentioned contractors employed any subcontractors for its work for ASPIRA, please provide the subcontract

3. Any digital spreadsheets or other reports, including advertising usage reports, maintained or received by ASPIRA sufficient to show as much of the following information as is kept in that format regarding purchased advertising, whether it was purchased directly by ASPIRA, a contractor, or a subcontractor:

  • Date of purchase
  • Dollar amount of purchase
  • Agency that conducted the purchase
  • Where the advertisement was placed (e.g., a name of a specific publication,
    television station, radio station, website, email, specific social media, billboard
    service, etc.)
  • Language of advertisement

4. Documentation sufficient to show ASPIRA’s total advertising/marketing/public relations budget, and total advertising/marketing/public relations spending and any similar information for subcontractors.

In the event ASPIRA denies or redacts any information, please provide a detailed legal reasoning for each denial or redaction.

Please email the documents or files, and any communications, to The Chicago Independent Media Alliance, a project of the Chicago Reader, is an alliance of more than 68 community-based media organizations in the city and suburbs. We seek this information to better inform our members how government agencies spend tax dollars on advertising, marketing, and public relations. Our goal is to create a more transparent and equitable ecosystem.

Because I, the requestor, am a journalist, and I seek the information in order to disseminate it to the public, I request a fee waiver. It is not for commercial benefit because I am a member of the news media whose principal purpose is to access and disseminate information. To the extent you intend to assess any charges, please notify me to discuss first.

Thank you for your time and prompt attention to this matter. Please contact me should you have any questions related to this request.

Sam Stecklow
Chicago Reader and the Chicago Independent Media Alliance
2930 South Michigan Avenue, ste. 102
Chicago, Illinois 60616
(415) 272-3245

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