Seattle Times, ProPublica, NPR Take Home 2014 Online Journalism Awards

Coverage of natural disasters and health care as well as the making of a T-shirt took top honors Saturday night at the 2014 Online Journalism Awards, which ended the Online News Association Conference.

At the 14th annual awards dinner, ONA also announced a new award for 2015, the James Foley Award, honoring work by reporters in conflict zones and named for the Global Post freelancer killed in Syria in August.

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WACOG honors Olympia planning commissioner

A member of the Olympia Planning Commission was recognized for taking a stance on open public meetings, but not everyone applauded.

Judy Bardin received a Key Award from the Washington Coalition for Open Government, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that defends open-government laws. She was honored for blowing the whistle on a series of private meetings between other commissioners and developers. But the award drew stinging comments from her fellow commissioners, who defended the meetings as legal and said they felt maligned by her “false accusations.”

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NM FOG names open government award winners

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government announced the winners of its annual awards dedicated to open government. The group announced three recipients of the Dixon First Amendment Award, one lawyer, one journalist and one in government.

Charles “Kip” Purcell will be given the award for lawyers, Colleen Heild of the Albuquerque Journal will be given the award for journalists and State Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, for members of government.

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Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information announces open government award recipients

A police chief, a state senator, an FOI Commission employee and two journalists have won the annual open government awards from the nonprofit Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, which has been advocating for freedom of information for six decades.

Blogger and Digital First Media columnist Andy Thibault received the Stephen A. Collins Award for his dogged pursuit on virtually every FOI battlefront in the past year. Thibault was instrumental in ensuring that the clemency hearing of convicted murderer Bonnie Foreshaw proceeded in public, according to the CCFOI.

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Texas Freedom of Information group honors citizens

Robert and Maureen Decherd received the John Henry Faulk Award for Civic Virtue Friday from the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. The former chairman, president and chief executive of The Dallas Morning News’ parent company, A.H. Belo Corporation, was a founder of the foundation that honored him. He served as its first president from 1978 to 1981.

The foundation periodically bestows the award to Texans who show outstanding civic involvement and enlightened philanthropy. It is named after the author and humorist who fought for free speech.

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Florida Times-Union wins First Amendment Foundation award

The First Amendment Foundation’s James C. Adkins/Sunshine Litigation Award goes to The Florida Times-Union and Editor Frank Denton for recent success protecting and defending open government laws through litigation in three recent cases.

The award was created to recognize the importance and continuing value of the late Florida Supreme Court Judge James Calhoun Adkins Jr. The award has been presented only twice since 2009 and is normally given to a Florida attorney who made a significant contribution to the cause of furthering open government through litigation.

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