Nominees sought for Opee Awards

FOIC press releases

Wis. Freedom of Information Council to honor whistleblower, openness advocates

The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, a state group devoted to protecting public access to meetings and records, is seeking nominees from news organizations and others for its annual Opee Awards, which are presented in March, just prior to national Sunshine Week, which this year is March 11-17. The awards are for 2011-12 and can include nominees from the first part of 2012.

In particular, the Council is seeking nominees in the relatively new category of Whistleblower of the Year. This is meant to honor a person who (or institution that) went to exceptional lengths to bring important information to public attention. The winner can remain anonymous. Last year this award went to “Concerned Citizen,” the person who called the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s attention to fraud in a state childcare program, prompting a series of articles for which the paper won a Pulitzer prize.

The council also gives annual awards in the following categories: Citizen Openness Advocate of the Year, Public Openness Advocate of the Year, Media Openness Advocate of the Year, Open Records Scoop of the Year, and No Friend of Openness Award. Nominees are also welcome for these categories.

We are asking that nominations be made by Friday, Jan. 27. Supporting documentation can but does not have to be included.

Send nominations to: .