We were happy to find out earlier this week that the York Daily Record/Sunday News won this year’s John V.R. Bull Freedom of Information Award for its coverage of right-to-know issues.
The award is one of a few “specialty awards” given out by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association in its Keystone Press Awards. (YDR staffers won 22 awards, and the paper won the “sweepstakes” award, given to the organization with the most points in an accounting of all awards won. Here’s some of what our staffers learned as they worked on the pieces that were honored.)
PNA describes the Bull award this way:
The John V. R. Bull Freedom of Information Award,
in honor of the retired Philadelphia Inquirer editor who also was a founding member and leader of the First Amendment
Coalition, honors a journalist or newspaper for exceptional work advancing or upholding the cause of Freedom of
Information during the past year.
So it’s a big deal. Our entry included stories about our court battle to get 911 time-response logs and how the county’s system leads to inaccurate data; the story we broke about a county judge holding secret jury selection for a murder trial; posts from this blog; and a story about mistakes on the federal government’s map showing where hazardous materials are stored in York County; and how York County can’t accurately track its departments’ overtime spending.
We’re always looking for good public-records based stories to look into. Let us know if you have ideas.