Feb. 20, 2014  

Now accepting nominations for FOIA awards

Hitting a wall while requesting public documents from a public agency in Florida? Is there a public information officer that makes using the Sunshine laws a major headache? Or maybe it’s the opposite, and requesting information is such a breeze because a particular agency makes using the Sunshine laws as pleasant as cruise down the Intracoastal?

Either way, the Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Florida First Amendment Foundation want to hear about it.

Starting today we are seeking nominations for two “awards.” One will be used to shine light on those trying to keep public information out of the hands of those it belongs to and the other will honor and thank individuals for making the process of requesting information easy breezy.

blackshade logoBlack Shade: Given to an individual or an agency or other government entity that tries to keep their organization and it’s information hidden from the public by violating Sunshine laws and/or making them more difficult to navigate.

random scribble and doodleOpen Door: Given to an individual or an agency or other government entity that is helpful with public records requests under the Florida Sunshine Laws and overall is transparent with the public.

“Sometimes going through the process in place is not enough,” Lynn Walsh, SPJ Florida board member said. “As members of the public we are entitled to certain information — it is spelled out in the law. It doesn’t and shouldn’t matter if the information is not ideal for an organization to release. I fight and will continue to fight for public information to be released, but I don’t think it should be a fight. I want to expose and shine light on those making myself and others fight for information that belongs to us.”

Have someone to nominate? You can fill out the nomination for the Black Shade award here. Nominations for the Open Door award can be submitted here.

Awards will be given quarterly and selected by Florida First Amendment Foundation and SPJ Florida. Each winner will be highlighted on the SPJ Florida website. Awards will only be given out if the entries warrant one.

Questions? Contact Lynn Walsh via email or on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

… " /> … " />