Northern California Chapter Honors 14 With FOI AwardsFrom the April Issue of SPJ Report
The Society of Professional Journalists Northern California Chapter has named the recipients of its 17th annual James Madison Freedom of Information Awards, given to individuals and organizations who have promoted and defended free speech and public access to state and local government in the past year.
Among the 14 winners are San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll (“Commentary” category) for his steadfast and original defense of free speech and civil liberties in America’s current war on terrorism; and California State Controller Kathleen Connell (“Public Official”) for publishing the full texts of the state’s long-term electricity contracts despite pressure to publish only redacted versions.
The majority of the awards highlight the ongoing - and often difficult – struggles of reporters to obtain public information in defiance of government stonewalling.
Winners were honored at an awards dinner on March 16 in conjunction with the SPJ National Writers Workshop and Region 11 Conference.