FAC Legal Director David Loy Honored with Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California Chapter’s James Madison Award

Contact: fac@firstamendmentcoalition.org

San Rafael – The First Amendment Coalition is proud to announce Legal Director David Loy and Board Member Karl Olson are recipients of the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ James Madison Freedom of Information Awards. The awards recognize “people and organizations who have made significant contributions to advancing freedom of information and expression in the spirit of James Madison, the creative force behind the First Amendment.”

SPJ NorCal noted Loy’s diverse portfolio of work in defense of freedom of information, including:

  • FAC and San José Spotlight’s case against the City of San José and its former mayor Sam Liccardo for failing to disclose records about official business on personal devices and accounts; 
  • Spearheading a successful campaign against costly fees for public records in Mendocino County, and;
  • Working with fellow SPJ NorCal award recipient Michael Risher, challenging violations of SB 1421, the state law that makes many police records accessible under the California Public Records Act. 

“My career is dedicated to the principle that transparency is the oxygen of accountability. I am honored to be recognized in such distinguished company for defending open government without fear or favor,” said Loy.

The Norwin S. Yoffie Career Achievement Award goes to FAC Board Member Karl Olson for a 40-plus year career in defense of the First Amendment, press freedom, and the right to know. SPJ NorCal noted Olson’s numerous cases in defense of the news media, writing: “His work has had a powerful impact on the media law landscape in California and throughout the nation and will benefit journalists and the public they serve for many years to come.” 

First Amendment Coalition Executive Director David Snyder said: “FAC is so proud to have both our legal director and a longtime board member recognized in this way–by their peers, all fighting for transparency and government accountability as FAC has done for more than 35 years. We are equally grateful to SPJ NorCal for recognizing the importance of this work in our increasingly fractured and fractious society.”  

All awardees will be honored at SPJ NorCal’s Freedom of Information Committee’s 2024 James Madison Awards dinner in San Francisco on April 18. Event details can be found here.

One Comment

  • Congratulations! FAC fills an important place in the journalism landscape with skill, compassion, and guts. Thank you for doing the heavy lift.


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