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Entries sought for Brechner Center’s annual FOI reporting award

Journalism published or broadcast during 2018 that highlights the importance of open government in advancing the public’s right to know is eligible for a $3,000 cash prize offered through the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida.

The Brechner award recognizes excellence in explanatory and investigative reporting, in any medium, drawing on public records. The award is primarily intended to reward journalism that is about the public’s right-to-know and about government secrecy. The award will be presented in April at a luncheon of the Florida Free Speech Forum in Gainesville.

The Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award is presented annually to recognize outstanding news coverage that promotes transparent, accountable government. Applications are due March 8, and details about how to apply are available on the brechner.org website.

Last year’s winner was Bethany Barnes, recognized for her persistence in fighting for access to records from the Portland public schools that led to her acclaimed story for The Oregonian, “Benefit of the Doubt,” exposing systemic failings that allowed a known harasser to remain in the classroom for decades.

The Brechner Center presents the $3,000 prize with the support of a generous grant from the family of pioneering broadcast executive Joseph L. Brechner and his wife, Marion. The Brechner Center was founded in 1977 as a source of research and advocacy supporting the public’s right of access to civically essential information, in Florida and throughout the country.

Posted: January 21, 2019
Category: News
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