Dick Fogel, journalist and FOI legend, 1923-2009


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San Francisco's Bay City News Service reported today that Dick Fogel, co-founder with his wife of the service, died Wednesday in Thousand Oaks.

Wayne Futak, a key member of the original founding group and now the general manager who has taken the helm,
told me that Dick "was passionate about the importance of journalism in society and he passed that on to the hundreds of young journalists who have come through Bay City News, including me.
In describing Dick's newsroom philosophy, perhaps the best tribute is the Bay City News Service Credo he established, which was given to all new employees." Futak sent along the Credo:

"It shall be the constant intention of Bay City News Service reporters and editors:
--to pursue and write the news with fairness, accuracy and a sense of professional detachment;
--to be purposeful and searching in the quest for information; and yet,
--to avoid arrogance and instead maintain a reasonable concern for the personal dignity of sources and contacts."

I asked Wayne if the BCN obit ought to have a byline. No, he said, it was a collective effort and should just say from the Bay City News Service. Here it is:

Richard Henry Fogel, 86, longtime newspaper editor and co-founder of San Francisco's Bay City News Service, died on Sept. 9, 2009, in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

A passionate advocate on issues relating to the public's right to access government information, Fogel worked tirelessly with other prominent journalists and news organizations across the country to craft the basic principles of what would later become the landmark Freedom of Information Act (Public Law 89-554, 80 Stat. 383).

Regarded as a legend among San Francisco Bay Area journalists, Fogel received the prestigious Northern California Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Born April 29, 1923, in Santa Monica, California, Richard Fogel, known to friends and colleagues as "Dick," was the younger of two sons of Moe Miller Fogel and Syndie Aileen Gardner Fogel.