About the Center

The Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award

The Brechner Center sponsors an annual $3,000 cash award recognizing excellence in reporting about freedom of information, access to government-held information, or the First Amendment.

The deadline for entries is March 9. Stories or a series of stories related to these topics and published in a general circulation (non-academic) news medium (print, online or broadcast) will meet contest eligibility.

The award is primarily intended to reward journalism that is about the public’s right-to-know and about government secrecy, not just journalism that uses public records as a means to an end.

The contest judges are chosen by Frank LoMonte, director of The Brechner Center. Each year he chooses a university professor, a lawyer, and a journalist, all with a special interest or expertise in freedom of information and First Amendment issues.

There is no entry form. Entries (links or PDF files are acceptable, so long as the links will lead directly to the article without a login or subscription) may be submitted to flomonte@ufl.edu or mailed to: Frank LoMonte, Director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, 3208 Weimer Hall, P.O. Box 118400, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8400. Letters explaining the circumstances under which the entries were written and any results of the published stories are welcome.

Articles that have won the award in the past have appeared in the The Asbury Park (NJ) Press, Miami HeraldWashington PostDallas Morning NewsHouston Chronicle, and Columbia Journalism Review. Read more about the past winners.

Please feel free to call us at (352) 392-2273 if you need additional information.