This guide was created for the courses JOUR 300 (Reporting) and JOUR 481 (Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Journalism). It provides an overview of government information for journalists and addresses some of the more challenging areas of government information.
Example 1: Income tax returns
Individuals' tax returns are government records that are not accessible unless the individual publicly releases the return, as did President Obama.
Statistics of income provides aggregated statistics gathered from individual and corporate tax returns.
Example 2: Census surveys
Individual responses to census surveys are records stored at the Census Bureau. They are embargoed for 72 years, at which point they are released by the National Archives.
Aggregate census data is published continuously. It usually takes two to three years for data to be aggregated and published.