From FOIFT: Former El Paso Times reporter Zahira Torres and editor Robert Moore will be honored next month with Texas' most prestigious open-government award for their work exposing cheating at the El Paso Independent School District.
The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas announced Monday that Torres and Moore were selected as this year's recipient of the James Madison Award, which is given each year to journalists, politicians, academics, attorneys and vigilant citizens to celebrate outstanding achievements or distinction in the areas of open government, freedom of information and other related First Amendment issues. James Madison was the nation's fourth president and author of the First Amendment.
"The El Paso Times reporting on this educational calamity provided an important public service by shining light on the actions of public officials," said Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. "This is how the First Amendment enables the people to hold government accountable in our democracy."
Previous winners of the James Madison Award, given annually since 1987, include U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan, Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, attorneys general John Cornyn and Greg Abbott, A.H. Belo Corp. CEO Robert Decherd, and Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith.
This year's award will be presented at FOIFT's annual conference Aug. 9 in Austin.
Also to be presented at this year's conference: FOIFT names Rep. Todd Hunter Open Government Lawmaker of the Year