Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council bestows annual open government awards

Note: Please find the complete press release here (PDF/198KB).

From Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council:

As part of national Sunshine Week (sunshineweek.org), March 10-16, the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council acknowledges advocacy groups on opposite sides of the political spectrum, as well as media outlets large and small, in its seventh annual round of awards highlighting open government in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Police Department earned the Council’s No Friend of Openness Award.

“This was a year of deep contention, one that cast into sharp relief the critical importance of our state's traditions of transparent government,” said Bill Lueders, council president. “We saw more than ever how our openness laws serve to hold public officials accountable, but also enable them to earn the public's trust.”

Five Openness Awards (“the Opees”) are being given to six groups and individuals for 2012-13. Four of the awards are positive; the No Friend of Openness Award is not.

The winners will be invited to receive their awards at the third annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards Dinner in Madison on April 24. The event is presented jointly by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and Madison Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The honorees are:

Citizen Openness Award (the “Copee”): The Center for Media and Democracy and the MacIver Institute.
Political Openness Award (the “Popee”): UW-Extension Local Government Center.
Media Openness Award (the “Mopee”): Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Open Records Scoop of the Year (the “Scoopee”): Matt Johnson, Vernon County Broadcaster.
No Friend of Openness Award (the “Nopee”): The Milwaukee Police Department.

Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council is a member of NFOIC. –eds