The record $1.2 million fine against the Fox television network for its “sexually suggestive” programme Married by America was brought about by a mere three people who actually composed letters of complaint. The FCC had claimed that it had recieved 159 complaints about the programme. But according to documents disclosed to blogger Jeff Jarvisunder the Freedom of Information Act, just three people made these complaints.

Jarvis provides some useful advice:

You, too, can report on government through Freedom of Information Act requests. It is incredibly easy. And it is your right.

You can go to any government agency and to local government as well and file such requests. You want to know about your mayor’s expense account? You want to see how other agencies use your tax dollars? File an FOIA request.

The Freedom of Information Act isn’t meant for reporters. It’s meant for citizens … and now citizen journalists. So use it.