Los Angeles Times wins 29th Annual Brechner Award

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Los Angeles Times has been named the winner of the 29th Annual Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award for its investigative series. The award-winning series titled: “Lifting a Cloak of Secrecy,” details the fight for access to information about ownership of the Los Angeles Coliseum.
UF’s College of Journalism and Communications Dean Diane McFarlin presented the $3,000 prize to the Times’ Ron Li and Paul Pringle at the Florida Free Speech Forum’s annual Buddy Davis award luncheon on April 13, 2015.
“The reporters used public records to reveal how Los Angeles city officials were making secret deals to turn ownership of the Coliseum over to the University of Southern California, a private institution,” said Sandra Chance, executive director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information. “Their reporting led to indictments, hard-fought court battles and a ‘blistering rebuke’ of the government and its tactics by the judge who found multiple violations of the law and ordered $415,000 to cover legal expenses.”
 The annual award was established by the late Joseph L. Brechner, an Orlando broadcaster. Previous award winners include the AP, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, The St. Petersburg Times, the Lakeland Ledger, The Dallas Morning News, the (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel and the Houston Chronicle. 
The annual award was established by the late Joseph L. Brechner, an Orlando broadcaster. Previous award winners include: the AP, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, The St. Petersburg Times, The Dallas Morning News, the (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel and the Houston Chronicle.

 

Located at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, Fla., the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information exists to educate and promote freedom of information laws and policies. It serves the students of UF, Florida citizens, media lawyers and journalists nationally and internationally by providing training sessions, answering queries and conducting scholarly research on First Amendment and freedom of information issues.