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*FAC Seeks Nominations for 2019 Free Speech & Open Government Award 


2019 FAC Free Speech & Open Government Awards( First Amendment Coalition is soliciting nominees for the FAC Free Speech & Open Government Award, given each year for performance of exemplary work in the arena of open government.

Qualifications for the award are outstanding accomplishment, service or other contributions to “the people’s right to know” about government. The winner, or winners, could be a journalist, blogger, lawyer, news organization (print or digital), software developer or community activist. We wish to recognize an individual or institution whose actions deserve public honor and emulation for their advancement of government transparency.

Areas vital in the struggle for open government are access to public meetings, public records, the courts, government data; defense of citizens’ right to speak; defense of journalists’ rights; and defense of the right to “blow the whistle” and alert the public to government misconduct and other matters of common concern.

The First Amendment Coalition Award will be accompanied by a $1,000 prize and will be presented at the Annual Winter Meeting of the California Press Foundation on Thurs., Dec. 5, in San Francisco.

Please send nominations, supported by PDF attachments or links to online documents or written materials such as letters and newspaper clippings to explain the nature of the performance, service or activity to be saluted, its context and its consequences. Self-nominations are encouraged. (Don’t be shy!)

Address nominations to: First Amendment Coalition, 534 4th Street, Suite B, San Rafael, CA 94901 or email

The deadline for nominations, covering work produced in the previous 12 months, is Nov.1, 2019.


2018 FAC FOI Award Winners  

ProPublica staffers Derek Kravitz, Al Shaw, Claire Perlman and Alex Mierjeski, were honored honored at with FAC's 2018 FOI Award for their work on the Trump Town dataset.  

When President Donald Trump took office in 2017, the White House said publicly it was deploying 520 political appointees throughout the government but refused to give details. In response, ProPublica launched an enormous fact-finding mission that involved filing more than 200 Freedom of Information Act and Form 201 ethics requests to every federal agency to collect names, titles, roles and offices of hundreds of political appointees.

The work culminated in the publication of several in-depth stories and databases. That includes the Trump Town dataset, the first authoritative searchable database of 2,724 political appointees, including Trump’s cabinet, White House staffers, senior government officials within the government, along with their federal lobbying and financial records. Many, if not most, of these appointees would have otherwise slipped below the radar as they were not subject to Senate confirmation or review.   Read more about these and previous award winners here.