AUSTIN — The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’ prestigious Monson FOI Awards were presented at the Texas Press Association’s annual summer convention at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio on June 23.
The Monson FOI Award recognizes journalists and/or newspapers for outstanding efforts that uphold First Amendment principles, increase public access to government and improve awareness of state open government statutes.
The award is named in honor of Nancy Monson, FOIFT’s executive director who retired in 2001 after nearly two decades of providing leadership on open government and public access issues. Judging was by Charles N. Davis, an associate professor with the Missouri School of Journalism.
First Place in the Daily Newspaper category was awarded to Kevin Krause and Ed Timms of The Dallas Morning News for their series on the bail bond industry.
Second Place: John Tompkins of The Facts, Clute, for his series on how a killer's parole stunned a community and how watchdog reporting helped improve the system.
Third Place: Elaine Marsilio of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, who used public records requests to uncover a public body's secret meetings.
First Place in the Non-Daily Newspaper category was awarded to Jessica Hawley-Jerome of the Bandera Bulletin for local government watchdog reporting.
Second Place: Glen Rose Reporter, for dogged pursuit of the truth and the newspaper’s holding its local governmental bodies to a high standard.