Home » News » Small Ore. newspaper wins 2024 First Amendment Award

By The Free Speech Center, published on May 8, 2024

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A small family-owned Oregon newspaper has been honored with the 2024 First Amendment Award, presented by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies with the support of the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University.

In announcing the award, the national journalism institute recognized “the staff of the Malheur Enterprise for reporting about Malheur County’s lack of transparency and the effect and importance of the paper’s lawsuit against the county to enforce state public records law. The award is given to the best example of protecting or advancing freedom of information principles, and/or overcoming significant resistance to the application of the First Amendment.”

Enterprise Publisher Les Zaitz described the recognition as “incredible for a small rural newsroom.”

“Our readers have come to count on our team to ensure government officials are held to account for their conduct and their use of public money. That is not always easy in a small community ­– but it is our duty,” Zaitz said in an Enterprise article.

Finalists for the award included Hannah Natanson of The Washington Post for The School Book Wars, and Jim Baumbach, Joie Tyrrell and Dandan Zou of Newsday for Teacher Misconduct on Long Island.

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