Bunting Award Entries Sought to Recognize Journalistic Excellence
The Washington Coalition for Open Government is now accepting submissions for the Second Annual Kenneth F. Bunting Award in journalism. Named for the late Seattle Post-Intelligencer associate publisher and a founding board member of WCOG, the award honors exceptional journalism that supports and demonstrates the importance of open government and transparency.
A team of reporters with The Seattle Times received the first annual Bunting award last year for their work on “Loaded with Lead,” a series that made extensive use of the state’s public records act to expose the fact that high levels of lead exist at gun ranges in the state and elsewhere. It was among several submissions of excellent journalism that were about or made use of the state’s open meetings and public records laws in order to provide the public with information on everything ranging from an outbreak of infection at a local hospital to extensive coverage of transparency issues at the Seattle Police Department.
Journalism may support and demonstrate the importance of open government laws in a variety of ways, including:
- stories that could not have been written without use of the Public Records Act, Open Public Meetings Act or other open government laws;
- stories drawn from research that relies on state transparency laws;
- stories about how government openness serves the public interest; reports of government withholding information that the public has a right to access;
- stories that demonstrate persistence;
- stories on legal action or journalists who pursue legal action against government agencies that try to withhold public information;
- commentary about the importance of open government.
Entries may come from anywhere, but in order to be eligible, the work submitted must be substantially about Washington State and published during the time period of June 1, 2016 to May 1, 2017. The award can go to either the journalist(s) or organization, but preferably to named individual(s).
Entrants can download the Bunting Award Nomination Form from the WCOG website. Nominations should include copies of articles that demonstrate the importance of open government laws. The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2017. Entries will be judged by legal experts and media professionals who sit on the WCOG Board of Directors. The Second Annual Kenneth F. Bunting Award will be presented in the fall at WCOG Annual Madison Andersen Awards Breakfast.