Arkansas Newspaper Wins Brechner FOI Prize
A five-month series of articles and editorials chronicling the battle between a juvenile court judge and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette received the 2001 Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award.
The announcement was made by Dr. Sandra F. Chance, PR 1977, MA 1985, director of the Brechner Center in the College, on March 16-Freedom of Information Day.
“The award recognizes the paper’s successful efforts to prevent a judge from issuing a prior restraint–a judicial decision threatening one of the basic constitutional tenants of a free press,” Chance said.
The newspaper printed the name of a 12-year-old boy who, while walking to school with a shotgun, had exchanged gunfire with a police officer.
The newspaper’s editor, Griffin Smith, will receive a $3,000 cash award for “excellence in reporting about freedom of information.”
The annual award was established by the late Joseph L. Brechner, an Orlando, FL, broadcaster. Previous winners include the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, FOIndiana, the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, The Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the St. Petersburg Times, The Dallas Morning News and the Columbia Journalism Review.