AP wins Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award

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The Associated Press wins the $10,000 award for work uncovering federal documents of public interest. It will be presented next month at the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference in New Orleans. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, which gives out the Pulliam award, is the educational arm of the Society of Professional Journalists.


Press release

AP journalists and attorneys win Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award

NEW YORK – The Associated Press today was named the recipient of the 2011 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award for work uncovering federal documents of public interest.

The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation award honoring AP journalists and attorneys recognizes a person or organization that has fought to protect and preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and is given in memory of Eugene S. Pulliam, the Indianapolis newspaper publisher who was a staunch supporter of the First Amendment until his death in 1999. It will be presented to AP along with a $10,000 prize, Sept. 27 at the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference in New Orleans. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is the educational arm of the Society of Professional Journalists.

AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said: “Governments exist to serve citizens and do so transparently. Yet far too many still draw the curtain on their deliberations and decisions. We are pleased that the Pulliam honors the AP journalists and attorneys who strive each day to bring public information to the public.”

The AP has led the industry in its aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act and state public records laws as a newsgathering tool, generating high-impact stories about governors, the Obama administration and powerful government agencies.

In 2009, AP filed more than 1,500 requests across the country and 40 legal appeals, mostly on the federal level, and well over 1,000 additional requests and 60 appeals in 2010. See more about those actions on the AP FOI News site.

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