2012 FOI Summit Streaming

Parts of the luncheon from the Madison Concourse on Saturday, May 12, will be live-streamed.

The luncheon in its entirety will occur between 12:00 and 1:45 p.m. (Central Time) and consists of the following:

  • Remarks and welcome from Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.
  • Keynote address by Gene Policinski, senior vice president/executive director of the First Amendment Center. (More below.)
  • State Open Government Hall of Fame Induction — This year’s inductee is Toby Nixon, president of Washington Coalition for Open Government. (More below.)

Complete schedule is available at https://nfoic.org/2012-foi-summit-schedule.

Streaming is made possible by our friends at the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Streaming available from http://www.rjionline.org/live.

Keynote Address by Gene Policinski

Gene Policinski, senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, will deliver the keynote address at the 2012 FOI Summit May 11 and 12 in Madison, WI.

Policinski came to the Freedom Forum in 1996 from USA TODAY, where he was a founding editor and held various news executive positions. He began his journalism career in 1969 in Indiana, where he worked as a newspaper reporter and later as state bureau chief for Gannett News Service. In 1980, he became a correspondent in the GNS Washington bureau reporting on Congress, politics and other issues.

In 1982, he was named Washington editor of USA TODAY during its development period, and he held that post when it launched on Sept. 15. In 1983, he was named a Page One editor. In 1985, he was named deputy managing editor/sports and later was named managing editor/sports. He is the founding editor of USA TODAY Baseball Weekly (now Sports Weekly). From 1991 through 1993, he was the on-air host of three news, sports and information programs on USA TODAY Sky Radio. He also helped develop USA TODAY’s first online ventures.

In April 1996, he joined the Freedom Forum as a journalist in residence, directing a special Olympic Games program, and in September was named special assistant to the chairman and chief executive officer. Since joining the foundation, he has held a number of positions and was host and writer for four seasons of “Newseum Radio,” a one-hour magazine format program that aired on National Public Radio Worldwide, produced from the Newseum and Freedom Forum offices in Arlington, Va. He was named deputy director of the First Amendment Center in June 2000. In 2004 he was named acting director and executive director shortly thereafter.

A lecturer and consultant on journalism issues ranging from ethics to new media, Policinski is an adjunct professor at Winthrop University in South Carolina and a member of the journalism alumni board at Ball State University in Indiana.


Open Government Hall of Fame Induction: Toby Nixon

Toby Nixon, State Open Government Hall of FameToby Nixon, president of Washington Coalition for Open Government (WCOG) and a city council member in Kirkland, Washington, has been selected for induction into Heroes of the 50 States: The State Open Government Hall of Fame for 2012.

The State Open Government Hall of Fame, begun in 2003, was developed by national leaders of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and NFOIC to recognize the contributions made by open government advocates in individual states.

Nixon, who also served in the Washington state House of Representatives from 2002 to 2006, is only the second elected official to be selected for the State Open Government Hall of Fame.

During his time as a Washington legislator, he sponsored 13 bills supporting more open government and also served as a ranking member of the House Committee on State Government Operations and Accountability, which under his leadership passed 17 election reform bills.

Induction into The State Open Government Hall of Fame signifies the “long and steady effort to preserve and protect the free flow of information about state and local government that is vital to the public in a democracy.”

A committee that includes a representative of SPJ, a representative of NFOIC, and at least one additional at-large member evaluates all nominations. Each year, judging commences after Sunshine Week in mid-March.

Nominations for this award are made to honor individuals who have shown a substantial and sustained commitment to open government and freedom of information issues at the state and local level.

You can read more about the State Open Government Hall of Fame here.