The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, a nonprofit group that works to protect access to public meetings and records, is now accepting nominations for its annual Openness in Government Awards, or Opees. Awards are given in six categories:
- Popee (Political Openness Award): Recognizes extraordinary service to the cause of open government by an elected or appointed official, agency, or group of officials.
- Mopee (Media Openness Award): Recognizes extraordinary service to the cause of open government by a media member or organization.
- Copee (Citizen Openness Award): Recognizes extraordinary service to the cause of open government by a member of the public or public group.
- Scoopee (Open Records Scoop of the Year): For a journalist or media organization who (which) has used public records to highlight an issue or expose wrongdoing.
- Nopee (No Friend of Openness): For an individual or institution who (which) has disregarded or denigrated the state’s traditions of openness.
- Whoopee (Whistleblower of the Year): Recognizes an individual who has come forward to help expose wrongdoing.
Please submit nominations with any supporting documentation by Friday, Feb. 15, to Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winners will be selected by a Council committee, as in past years. The Council reserves the right to issue special awards or to not give an award in a particular category.
The awards will be announced just prior to national Sunshine Week, March 10-16, and presented at the ninth annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards Reception and Dinner in Madison on Tuesday, April 16. Tickets and sponsorships for the event will be available soon.
The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (www.WisconsinWatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.