As universities prepare to open their secret files under the Freedom of Information Act in the new year, there has been some discussion about how to prevent pesky journalists getting their hands on potential dynamite.
In a discussion forum, one FoI watchdog suggested it could be possible to have requests for information from overzealous journalists legally declared "vexatious" and suitably ignored. But this was quickly dismissed. "I think it will be very difficult to prove the media are vexatious. They can be annoying, irritatingly pious and want you to do all their work, but that's not always the same as vexatious," said another officer. Reporters at The Times Higher declined to comment.