Nominees sought for 2020 SDNA Eagle Award

The South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Eagle award is given to an individual or organization, which has demonstrated outstanding efforts to protect and promote openness and transparency in government. Courtesy photo

BROOKINGS —The South Dakota Newspaper Association is accepting nominees for the 2020 SDNA Eagle Award.

This award is given to an individual, group or organization that has demonstrated outstanding efforts to protect and promote openness and transparency in government.

“Thanks to the efforts of citizens and government leaders, South Dakota continues to make progress in strengthening laws that provide transparency and accountability from our elected officials,” said SDNA First Amendment Committee Chair Tim Waltner, former publisher and now a contributing editor at the Freeman Courier. 

“The SDNA Eagle Award, established in 2001, recognizes those who have spoken out, firmly - and sometimes courageously - to advance the principle that a well-informed citizenry is at the heart of our democracy.

“Particularly in our current political climate, the ideals of truth, responsibility, accountability and transparency have never been more important,” Waltner said. “All of us - journalists, citizens and elected officials - need to boldly defend those ideals. We want to acknowledge those who have done so.”

The SDNA First Amendment Committee welcomes nominees for the 2020 Eagle Award to honor the efforts of those who have demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of open government.

The first SDNA Eagle Award was given to the 2001 South Dakota Supreme Court for its efforts to open Supreme Court proceedings to media cameras.

In 2019, SDNA awarded state Sen. Arthur Rusch of Vermillion an Eagle Award for his work in the legislature to sponsor a law that makes certain government contracts a public record.

Other recipients of SDNA Eagle Award also include Mitchell School Board member Rodney Hall (2003), South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long (2004), Yankton County Commissioner Brian Hunhoff (2005), Codington County State’s Attorney Vince Foley (2006), state Sen. Jason Gant and the staff of the South Dakota State University Collegian (2007), state Sen. Nancy Turbak Berry (2008), state Sen. Dave Knudson (2009), Sioux Falls resident Gordon Heber (2010), state Sen. Al Novstrup (2012), state Sen. Corey Brown (2016) and Gov. Dennis Daugaard (2018).

Any individual, group or organization that has demonstrated commitment to the ideals of open government in South Dakota is eligible to be nominated.

Nominations for the 2020 SDNA Eagle Award should be submitted in writing and sent to: SDNA Eagle Award, South Dakota Newspaper Association, 1125 32nd Ave., Brookings, SD 57006. The deadline for nominations is March 20. 

Contact SDNA Executive Director David Bordewyk for more information about the award and nominations by calling (800) 658-3697. 

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