McMasters Named President of Virginia FOI Coalition
RICHMOND (November 16, 2002) -- Paul McMasters, First Amendment Ombudsman at the Freedom Forumís First Amendment Center, was elected president Friday of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.
McMasters, who lives in Prince William County, succeeds Robert M. OíNeil, founding director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.
OíNeil was the first president of the open-government group, heading it since its inception in 1996. He served as president of the University of Virginia in 1985-90 and is a law professor at U.Va.
McMasters joined The Freedom Forum in 1992 after 33 years in journalism, the last 10 at USA TODAY, where he was associate editorial director.
McMasters is based in Arlington and regularly writes and lectures on First Amendment and freedom of information issues. He is a former national president of the Society of Professional Journalists and immediate past president of the SDX Foundation and served as SPJís FOI chair four years. He is a charter member of the national Freedom of Information Hall of Fame, and is a recipient of the John Peter and Anna Catherine Zenger Award for his First Amendment and FOI work.
Re-elected to new two-year terms as officers of the Virginia Coalition were:
O'Neil was given the group's annual Lawrence E. Richardson award for exceptional contributions in achieving greater freedom of information in Virginia.
Liz Szabo, a staff writer with The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot, won the coalition's annual media award for outstanding FOI contributions. Szabo documented the Board of Medicine's long delays in investigating bad doctors and disclosing disciplinary actions.
The Virginia Coalition for Open Government defends and promotes easy access to government information at the local and state level. Members include citizen activists, journalists, librarians, attorneys, educators, private investigators, genealogists and government officials.
For more information, contact Frosty Landon, executive director, 540 353 8264, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to Bio Page