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Sunshine Award
for important contributions in the area of open government

Deadline for nominations: April 17

The Sunshine Award recognizes individuals and groups for making important contributions in the area of open government.

The SPJ board of directors selects honorees for the Sunshine Award based on recommendations from the national SPJ Freedom of Information Committee. There is no predetermined number of honorees for selection.

Submit your nomination online

Sorry, the deadline to submit nominations has passed.

2023 Honorees
The Texas Tribune
The Marshall Project
Military Times
City Bureau
The Maine Monitor

Read the press release

El Paso Matters
Jonathan Guyer

Read the press release

Documenting COVID-19 project

Read the press release

2020 Read press release
R. Jeffrey Smith and the Center for Public Integrity
The Center for Public Integrity, USA TODAY and The Arizona Republic
Christina Jewett from Kaiser Health News

2019 Read press release
Jessica Huseman, ProPublica
Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza, Associated Press
CPI, Quartz and the Associated Press

2018 Read press release
Mary Ellen Klas, Miami Herald
Rachel La Corte, Associated Press

2017 Read press release
Nick Budnick, The Portland Tribune
Grace Rauh, NY1 News
Miranda Spivack, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

2016 Read press release
The Counted, The Guardian US
Donovan Slack
The Invisible Institute

2015 Read press release
Ed Timms and Kevin Krause
Brad Heath
Carolyn James

2014 Read press release
Center for Public Integrity
Robert Freeman
Kathryn Foxhall

2013 Read press release
Michael Donoghue
Seth Rosenfeld
Sunlight Foundation

2012 Read press release
Bloomberg News
Medill Innocence Project

2011 Read press release
Anne Geggis
Samantha Turley and Marcus Constantino
Wall Street Journal Staff

2010 Read press release
David Andreatta
Jill Riepenhoff and Todd Jones
Charlene “Charlie” Padilla
The Advocate

2009 Read press release
Project On Government Oversight

2008 Read press release
Robert Faturechi
Teri Henning
Laurie Roberts

2007 Read press release
Bill Chamberlin
Connecticut Network
The Seattle Times

2006 Read press release
Ryan Nees, Kokomo, Indiana
Nancy Conway, Salt Lake Tribune
John Hughes, The Deseret Morning News

J.W. August, KGTV San Diego
Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General

Joe Adams, The Florida Times-Union/IDigAnswers.com
Megan Fromm, Mesa State College
The Montana FOI Hotline

Marion Brechner Citizen Access Project
Roger Jewell
Chicago Headline Club
Gregory Korte, Ohio Project Sunshine Co-Chair
Society of Environmental Journalists
FOI-L Listserv

California Newspaper Publishers Association
California First Amendment Coalition, Sacramento, CA
Joseph Tyrrell, Hillsborough, NJ
Pennsylvania First Amendment Coalition/Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, Harrisburg, PA
Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, Gainesville, FL
Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, Tallahassee, FL
Barbara Petersen, First Amendment Foundation, Tallahassee, FL

SPJ Kansas Pro Chapter
Linda Lightfoot, executive editor of The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La.
FOIAdvocates, Eugene, Ore
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa
Chief Justice Robert A. Miller
The South Dakota Supreme Court
SPJ Queen City Pro Chapter, Cincinnati OH
Linda Tracy
Wyoming Attorney General Gay Woodhouse


Individuals/groups who have made a contribution to the area of open government. Nominations are not limited to journalists.


Nomination form should be accompanied by a letter(s) of recommendation that addresses why the nominee is deserving of this national recognition. Self-nominations are permitted.

Winner Announcement and Presentation

Winners will be honored in the fall.

Submit all nomination materials unbound on 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Additional supporting materials are welcomed and should be limited to 10 pages.


All entries should be submitted no later than April 17.

For More Information

Contact SPJ Headquarters at 317/927-8000 or e-mail: awards@spj.org

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