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.
Black 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.
“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.”
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.