James Madison Award

Since 1987, the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas has presented the James Madison Award to journalists, politicians, academics, attorneys and vigilant citizens to celebrate outstanding achievements or distinction in the areas of open government, freedom of information and other related First Amendment issues. Each year, award winners are recognized at the Bernard and Audre Rapoport State Conference.

In 2017, the James Madison Award went to Jim Moroney, publisher of the Dallas Morning News and chairman, president and chief executive officer of the A.H. Belo Corp. Moroney has been a longtime leader in the Texas news industry and champion of the First Amendment right to freedom of the press.

Jim Moroney speaks at Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas Conference in Austin, Sept. 14, 2017. (Photo by Jack Plunkett)

The James Madison Award recipient for 2016 was Wanda Garner Cash, a veteran Texas newswoman who led multiple newspapers and later became a journalism educator at the University of Texas at Austin. Cash has spent her career mentoring young journalists and advocating for open government.foift_2016_conference_jp1_8160_opt                                  Wanda Garner Cash (Photo by Jack Plunkett)

The award winner for 2015 was Don Adams, a former state senator and longtime champion of open government and First Amendment rights. Adams helped write and pass Texas’ initial open records law in the early 1970s and remained a steadfast advocate for the people’s right to know.

Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas conference in Austin, Texas on Sept. 17, 2015.

Former Sen. Don Adams, accepting the James Madison Award at the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas conference in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 17, 2015. (Photo by Jack Plunkett.)

Other Past Award Winners

Donnis Baggett, Executive Vice President, Texas Press Association

Robert Moore and Zahira Torres, El Paso Times

The Dallas Morning News: George Rodrigue, Managing Editor; Maud Beelman, Editor; Brooks Egerton; Miles Moffeit; Reese Dunklin; Sue Goetinck Ambrose

Evan Smith, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, The Texas Tribune

Joseph Larsen, FOI Hotline Attorney and Special Counsel, Sedgwick LLP – Houston

Rodney Ellis, Texas State Senator – Houston; Todd Hunter, State Representative – Corpus Christi

John Washburn, Software Tester and Citizen Activist – Wisconsin; challenged the Texas governor’s policy of deleting emails after only seven days

Keven Ann Willey, Vice President and Editorial Page Editor, The Dallas Morning News

Craig Flournoy, Assistant Professor, Southern Methodist University; Dan Malone, Instructor of Journalism, Tarleton State University; Gayle Reaves, Editor, Fort Worth Weekly

Greg Abbott, Attorney General, State of Texas

Howard Swindle, Investigative Reporter and Editor, The Dallas Morning News

Katherine (Missy) Minter Cary, Chief, Texas Attorney General’s Office – Open Records Division; Vanessa E. Curry, Journalist and Faculty Member, University of Texas at Tyler

Vanessa Leggett, Author

John Cornyn, Attorney General of Texas; Ann Arnold, Executive Director, Texas Association of Broadcasters

Dolph Tillotson, President and Publisher, The Galveston County Daily News

Jack Loftis, Associate Publisher and Editor, Houston Chronicle; Jeff Wentworth, Texas State Senator

Bob Bullock, Lieutenant Governor, State of Texas

Carole Kneeland, Vice President of News, KVUE TV, Channel 24 – Austin; Ralph Langer, Executive Vice President and Editor, The Dallas Morning News; M. J. Nicchio, Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs, Texas Daily Newspaper Association

Hadassah M. Schloss, Open Records Administrator, Texas General Services Commission; FOI Hotline Attorneys: Laura Peterson Elkind, Dallas; Karen Fannin, Houston; Rob Wiley, Houston

Jud Dixon, Editor, FOI FOCUS; Robert Lett, Citizen, Spring

Anthony P. Griffin, Attorney, Galveston; Robert A. Klaeger, Attorney, Burnet County; Bob Lott, Editor, Waco Tribune-Herald

Tony Pederson, Managing Editor, Houston Chronicle

Barbara Jordan, United States Representative

FOI Hotline Attorneys: Chip Babcock, Dallas and Houston; Jack Balagia, Houston; David Donaldson, Austin; Tom Leatherbury, Dallas; William (Bill) Ogden, Houston; Don Richards, Lubbock; Paul Watler, Dallas; Tom Williams, Fort Worth

Lloyd Doggett, Justice, Supreme Court of Texas

Robert W. Decherd, CEO, A.H. Belo Corporation

John Henry Faulk, Folklorist and First Amendment Scholar

Kent Caperton, Texas State Senator – Bryan; Juan Hinojosa, Texas State Representative – McAllen