Digging for the Big Scoop: Uncovering Great Stories with Freedom of Information Laws

On March 26, top experts at The New York Times, Newsday, The City, and KFF Health News united in front of a full house at New York University to reveal how to break original stories using local and national Freedom of Information laws.

With “Digging for the Big Scoop: Uncovering Great Stories with Freedom of Information Laws,” presented by the Deadline Club in partnership with the NYU Institute of Journalism, attendees learned strategies to obtain records for investigative reporting that has impact and drives change, such as coverage of denied reproductive care, prisoner abuse and torture, illegal campaign donations, toxic dumping, and more. Now you can too!

Click the audio player above to listen to the event in its entirety, and read on for more details on the panelists and to view photos. For information on future events and more, follow us online at Deadlineclub.org.


  • Al-Amyn Sumarsenior counsel at The New York Times Company, handles newsroom matters, including prepublication review of stories, libel and Freedom of Information Act litigation, news subpoenas, and intellectual property matters. He was previously the First Amendment Fellow at The Times and an associate at Ballard Spahr LLP (and before then, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP). Al-Amyn is a graduate of the University of Alberta, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School.
  • Rachana PradhanKFF Health News correspondent in Washington DC, writes about national health care policy and public health decisions impacting the lives of all Americans. She joined the newsroom in 2020 after five years covering federal agencies and state health care policy for Politico. Her work for KFF Health News has appeared in multiple print and broadcast outlets, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CBS, NPR, NBC News, CNN and USA Today.
  • Paul LaRocco is a reporter on Newsday’s investigations desk who also covers politics and government. His work at Newsday has won a National Headliners Award, with other national recognition including the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, Scripps Howard Awards and Society for Environmental Journalists’ Awards for Reporting on the Environment. A native Long Islander, Paul previously worked at the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif. and the Record-Journal in Meriden, Conn. He is a graduate of Emerson College.
  • Bianca Pallaro, senior data reporter at The City, conceives and carries out focused, in-depth data investigations that uncover violations of public trust, reveal abuses of power and drive real-world impact. Previously, she worked at USA Today and The New York Times, focusing on data acquisition, analysis and visualization for long data-driven investigations. Before moving to the United States to pursue her Masters at Columbia University, she worked as a senior data reporter at La Nación in Argentina.

The moderator was Jessica SeigelNYU adjunct journalism professor and Deadline Club VP-Events.


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