Here’s a new paper on the development of FOI in Britain Ben Worthy Chapter for Felle Final
Access to Information legislation, despite its powerful symbolism, is rarely a policy that attracts votes. It is frequently a ‘vote-less’ policy, exciting little electoral interest and reliant on media pressure, lobbying and a series of focusing events, helped intermittently by politicians pressured into action. As seen in other FOI regimes, in the UK the media helped provide the vital momentum. In the 1960s and 1970s, through highlighting (and inadvertently triggering) scandals, exposing secrecy in local and central government level and allying with a strengthening lobby group, the media continually kept openness on the political agenda. By the 1980s it formed part of a growing network, working with NGOs and MPs in pressuring for FOI. It remains a key defender, innovator and user of FOI (Hazell et al 2010).
Also here on SSRN