First Amendment Coalition Executive Director David Snyder was named the recipient of the 2019 Freedom of Information Award given by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Los Angeles Pro Chapter. The annual award honors a non-journalist who has helped promote First Amendment rights and values.
Snyder, a former newspaper reporter and media lawyer who has led FAC since 2016, is being recognized for fighting “legal battles across the state, winning key rulings resulting in the release of public records, often in the face of well-funded, powerful opponents who tried to keep police misconduct, search warrants, sexual misconduct and other public records a secret.”
SPJ/LA also called out Snyder’s rapid response to pressing First Amendment issues. “On a near daily basis, in conjunction with the First Amendment Coalition’s Free Legal Hotline, Snyder drops what he is doing and dispenses invaluable information, doing legal research when needed and consulting with other experienced lawyers to make sure any journalist or member of the public who needs help gets it,” the organization said.
The announcement also notes FAC’s expansion, under Snyder’s tenure, of staff, open-government litigation and programs, including the Subpoena Defense Initiative, which connects journalists with pro bono legal counsel and provides free training for media lawyers.
Snyder will be honored along with five Distinguished Journalist Honorees at a banquet in Los Angeles in March.
Learn more about FAC’s free Legal Hotline, Subpoena Defense Initiative and strategic litigation.