Freedom of Information advocates hear Chief Justice Magnuson, honor local newspaper editor Anfinson and promote open access
Chief Justice Eric J. Magnuson will deliver the keynote speech at the 21st annual Freedom of Information Day Award Ceremony on Tuesday, March 16, Noon-1:00 at Minneapolis Central Library Pohlad Auditorium. Chief Justice Magnuson will explore the freedom of information implications of two significant processes with which he has been closely involved – the Minnesota Senate election recount and the ongoing debate surrounding the issue of cameras in the courtroom.
A highlight of the Freedom of Information Day event is presentation of the 2010 John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award. Reed Anfinson, publisher and owner of the Swift County Monitor-News will receive the award which recognizes his commitment to transparency and open government at the local and national levels. Anfinson is on the Board of the National Newspaper Association; in 2012 he will assume the national presidency of the association. Finnegan, for whom the award was named two decades ago, will make the presentation. The Award is a testament to Finnegan’s lifetime commitment to a free press and a transparent government.
Open government advocates celebrate Freedom of Information Day each year on March 16, the birth date of James Madison. Often identified as the Father (or one of the fathers) of the Constitution,
Madison is a hero of freedom of information proponents who are wont to quote ’s admonition that “a popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both.” Madison
Sponsors of Freedom of Information Day at the national and levels include a host of professional and advocacy organizations – journalists and newspaper editors, librarians, researchers and archivists, diverse nonprofit groups committed to open and accessible government, particularly in an era of economic, political and technological change. Freedom of Information Day is the highlight of Sunshine Week, an initiative of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Local sponsor of FOI is the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information. The event is free and open to the public.
For additional information about Freedom of Information Day, Sunshine Week, or the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information contact:
Mary Treacy, Executive Director
612 781 4234 or 612 703 3290