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Open Government Champion Awards

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“Democracy, like a precious jewel, shines most brilliantly in the light of an open government.”

As we celebrate Independence Day, we want to take the opportunity to recognize media organizations as a vital pillar of our democracy. No open society can flourish without an informed citizenry, and the press is our natural ally in the quest to inform the public and defend citizens’ rights to access information from public institutions.
We are recognizing eight organizations for their outstanding reporting on issues concerning government transparency in New York State, with two additional recognitions being given to student publications.
Congratulations to Our Awardees!
Altamont Enterprise
The Altamont Enterprise & Albany County Post is a weekly newspaper in Albany County. Recognized for their great open government reporting, especially by reporters Noah Zweifel & Sean Mulkerrin.
Post Journal/Dunkirk Observer
The Post-Journal, a daily newspaper in Jamestown, NY, is recognized for its outstanding open government reporting by reporter Matthew Stafford.
Riverhead Local
Covering Riverhead, NY, in Suffolk County, Riverhead Local is celebrated for its excellent open government reporting, including a “transparency to-do list” for an incoming town supervisor.
Palladium Times
The Palladium Times, serving Oswego County, is noted for its great open government reporting by reporter Ken Sturtz.
Westmore News
Westmore News covers Port Chester and Rye Brook in Westchester County. Mrs. Abel wrote a piece on the town restricting committee members from speaking about their service.
Mountain Eagle News
Covering Otsego, Delaware, Greene, and Ulster Counties, Mountain Eagle News is praised for Leila Crockett’s article on the Fulton town supervisor eliminating public comments.
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
A daily in Lockport, NY, covering eastern Niagara County. Recognized for great open government reporting by Benjamin Joe, who wrote about a mayor’s media gag order and short notice for a town board meeting.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Serving the Adirondacks, Saranac Lake, Franklin, and Essex Counties. Recognized for editorials on transparency, including “Hochul’s Budget Fails to Address Transparency” and Sunshine Week efforts.
Student Journalist: Adelaide Barlow
Adelaide, a high school yearbook editor, just graduated and will attend the University of Washington. She fights for First Amendment rights in New York schools.
Student Journalist: Holden Velasco
Holden Velasco, Editor-in-Chief of The Knight News at Queens College, has led the paper through a crisis, building teams of reporters, multimedia journalists, and social media managers.
Keep up the great work, everyone!