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Miami Herald staff writer receives Pulliam First Amendment Award


For Immediate Release

Lauren Rochester, SPJ awards coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 210, lrochester@spj.org
Christine DiGangi, SPJ communications coordinator. (317) 927-8000 ext. 205, cdigangi@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — Carol Marbin Miller, a Miami Herald staff writer, has been awarded the 2012 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award for her strategic use of public records to expose neglect in the state’s social services.

Presented by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists’ educational foundation, the award and its $10,000 prize recognize a person or organization that has fought to protect and preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is given in memory of Eugene S. Pulliam, publisher of The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News from 1975 until his death in 1999. He was a staunch supporter of the First Amendment. Click here for a list of previous honorees.

Marbin Miller has been a reporter in Florida for three decades, gaining “unparalleled expertise” in Florida’s social services, Florence Beth Snyder wrote in a nomination letter for Marbin Miller.

“What distinguishes Carol from the dozens of reporters who have come and gone from this beat is that she is as good as any media lawyer — and far better than most — in ferreting out documents and encouraging informed sources to exercise their First Amendment rights,” wrote Snyder, a Tallahassee, Fla., attorney.

Marbin Miller’s investigative work has resulted in the passage at least six state laws, according to Miami Herald Managing Editor Rick Hirsch.

“Carol Marbin Miller’s series, exposing deplorable conditions at assisted living facilities and rooting out information about a child’s death, are tremendous examples of using freedom of information laws to right wrongs and hold government accountable,” said Robert Leger, the chairman of the Pulliam First Amendment Award panel. “But they’re just the most recent. The judges were impressed with Miller’s long history as an FOI crusader and her role mentoring younger reporters at the Herald. She exemplifies what the Pulliam award is about.”

Leger was joined on the panel by Linda Petersen, Russ Pulliam, Kelsey Volkmann and Kristin Gazlay of The Associated Press, which won last year’s award as an organization.

Marbin Miller will be honored Sept. 22 at the President’s Installation Banquet during the Excellence in Journalism 2012 conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The conference is co-hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information on SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.


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