Donnis Baggett to receive FOI Foundation’s James Madison Award at Sept. 12 conference


Sept. 2, 2014

AUSTIN – Donnis Baggett, whose career has spanned more than 40 years in Texas journalism, is the recipient of the 2014 James Madison Award presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

The award goes to those who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment. It will be presented Sept. 12 during the John Henry Faulk Awards Luncheon at the foundation’s Bernard and Audre Rapoport State Conference in Austin.

Baggett, the executive vice president of the Texas Press Association, leads the association’s governmental affairs program, focusing on protecting open records, open meetings and public notices at all levels of government.

Before joining TPA in 2012, Baggett worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Livingston, Longview and Dallas before becoming editor and publisher at The Eagle in Bryan-College Station and then at the Waco Tribune-Herald. Baggett is a past president of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and Dallas Press Club and served on the board of the FOI Foundation of Texas.

“Donnis Baggett has spent his career working for freedom of the press and open government. We are pleased to recognize his years of dedication to these principles. He is most deserving of the James Madison Award,” said Diana Fuentes, president of the FOI Foundation of Texas.

Since 1987, the award has honored journalists, attorneys, politicians, academics and vigilant citizens.

“The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas has been a powerful and effective champion of open government for decades, and I am truly humbled to receive the Madison Award,” Baggett said. “It’s a privilege to work alongside FOIFT volunteers and professionals in the difficult and never-ending battle for government transparency and accountability. This is a fight we simply can’t afford to lose.”

For information on FOIFT and its state conference go to or call 512-377-1575.