About the Brechner Center

"The Brechner Center is an invaluable, hands-on resource not only for working journalists -- but for future journalists, as well. For my journalism courses at the University of Miami, I copy large sections of Brechner's A Citizen's Guide to Government in the Sunshine for students, and heavily cite the Guide's contents while lecturing on the importance of Florida's Public Records Law."

Ronnie Greene,
Veteran investigative reporter & Urban Affairs Editor, The Miami Herald
Adjunct Professor of Journalism, University of Miami

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Joseph L. Brechner Center for Freedom of Information

1. What is the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information?

2. Where can I get the current issue and past issues of The Brechner Report?

3. How can I ask a Brechner Center expert a question?

4. Who was Joseph L. Brechner?

1. What is the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information?
The Brechner Center is the successor to the Florida Freedom of Information Clearinghouse, established in 1977. For nearly 10 years, the Clearinghouse operated under the direction of Professor Jo Anne Smith. Many of the funds for the Clearinghouse endowment were provided by the Florida news media.
Joseph L. Brechner, an Orlando broadcaster and advocate of freedom of information, and his wife, Marion Brechner, provided more than $1 million for the eminent scholar endowment, funds to construct a suite of offices, and funds to enlarge the operational endowment. In 1986, the Clearinghouse was renamed the Joseph L. Brechner Center for Freedom of Information to honor Mr. Brechner's contributions to freedom of information. The Center is housed at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

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2. Where can I get the current issue and past issues of The Brechner Report?

Current and past issues of The Brechner Report are indexed on the Brechner Web page. Stories published in The Brechner Report can also be viewed by in a topical index.

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3. How can I ask a Brechner Center expert a question?
The Brechner Center’s executive director, Sandra F. Chance, J.D., is available to answer queries about media law from journalists, attorneys, and other members of the public. The Center is prepared to explain issues relating to media law, react to current developments, and offer speakers for meetings and classes. Call 352- 392-2273 for more information.

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4. Who was Joseph L. Brechner?
Joseph L. Brechner, founder of WFTV-TV in Orlando in 1958, was associated throughout his career in the national freedom of information movement. He played a leading role in opening public records and the Florida courts to public scrutiny. A major gift from Mr. and Mrs. Brechner provided the facility at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, which houses The Brechner Center. They also provided funds to establish the Joseph L. Brechner Eminent Scholar Chair in Freedom of Information and the Marion Brechner Citizen’s Access Project.

Read more about the Brechner legacy-
JOURNALIST, ACTIVIST, JOSEPH L. BRECHNER: Changing the Status Quo

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