OLYMPIA…The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA) awarded Attorney General Rob McKenna the Freedom’s Light award during its annual convention Friday in Yakima. The award recognizes those who have supported the freedom of the First Amendment and work hard to protect that right. McKenna received the award along with Rep. Lynn Kessler.
“The public’s access to information is paramount to our society,” Attorney General McKenna said. “In fact, when trying to overthrow a society the first thing someone tries to do is seize control of the media and the information. The Constitutional founders, Bill of Rights’ authors and Supreme Court justices all understood this and lived to protect this right.”
The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, an advocate for community newspapers, freedom of the press and open government, created the award in 1995 to honor individuals who have protected the public’s access to information.
“When Rob was running for Attorney General I had heard he was a big supporter of open government,” WNPA General Manager Bill Will said. “As a newspaper man I was skeptical. However, he has not only walked the talk, but he has ran and sprinted with it.”
Attorney General McKenna has made government accountability, open records and access one of the top priorities of his administration. In 2006, the Attorney General’s Office created the model rules for paper records. Designed to reduce litigation and assist smaller local governments and citizen requestors, the model rules were adopted and published in the Washington Administrative Code. In 2007, at the request of the Legislature, Attorney General McKenna adopted model rules for electronic records. The model rules are best practices to assist requestors and agencies.
Attorney General McKenna proposed legislation earlier this year leading to the creation of the “Sunshine Committee”. The Committee will review exemptions to the Public Disclosure Act on an annual basis and make recommendations to repeal or amend exemptions.
Media Contacts: J. Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager, (360) 753-2727