October 23, 2002

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Brugmann wins two FOI awards


BRUCE B. Brugmann, editor and publisher of the Bay Guardian, won two awards this month for his efforts to promote sunshine in government.

The California First Amendment Coalition honored Bruce B. Brugmann last week with its Beacon Award. And the Northern California Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists announced Oct. 11 it had chosen Brugmann as winner of this year's Career Achievement Award.

In both cases, Brugmann was recognized for promoting freedom of the press and the public's right to access public information.

Brugmann helped establish the CFAC 14 years ago to promote and defend public access to government meetings and documents. At its awards ceremony Oct. 18, Judge Quentin Kopp, a former supervisor and state senator, referred to Brugmann as the "godfather of the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance," a local law Brugmann helped craft and shepherd through city hall that has become a model for cities around the state.

Brugmann has been active in the SPJ since his days as a college newspaper editor at the University of Nebraska, and he has worked to turn the local chapter into a force for open government.

Seth Rosenfeld of the San Francisco Chronicle was the recipient of the SPJ's Journalist of the Year prize for his victorious, 17-year fight to make public records of the federal government's spying and other illegal activities at UC Berkeley. Steve O'Donoghue, cofounder of the Media Academy at Oakland's Fremont Senior High School, won the Unsung Hero Award for his 25-year career nurturing young media makers of color and encouraging diversity in journalism. Former SPJ president Peter Sussman is to be honored with the John Gothberg Award for outstanding service to the local SPJ chapter.

The SPJ's annual awards banquet Nov. 19 will also recognize other winners including staffers at the Chronicle, the East Bay Express, CNET News.com, the San Jose Mercury News, the Marin Independent Journal, the San Francisco Independent, SFGate.com, Consumer Health Interactive, and MarketWatch, as well as student journalists Adam Ashton, Nada Behziz, and Greg Kozocas at San Francisco State University's Golden Gate [X]press.

(Camille T. Taiara)

For a full list of winners, go to www.spj.org/norcal.

Winners will be honored at the Northern California Chapter SPJ Excellence in Journalism Awards dinner Nov. 19. 6 p.m. cocktails and silent auction, 7 p.m. dinner and program, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason, S.F. $55, $45 SPJ members and students. (415) 864-2772.