ASNE receives donation from The Gridiron Club and Foundation
ASNE will use the funding to provide strong leadership in protecting First Amendment freedoms and strengthening freedom of information.
The American Society of News Editors has received a generous donation of $15,000 from The Gridiron Club and Foundation, one of the oldest and most prestigious journalism organizations in the District of Columbia. The funding will help ASNE continue to wage legal fights for the First Amendment and open government.
The funding will play an even more important role this year as the news industry continues to face disruption where the First Amendment and press freedoms are violated and ignored by governments, schools and businesses. ASNE will use the funding to provide strong leadership in protecting First Amendment freedoms and strengthening freedom of information.
"The Gridiron Club might be best known for its fun-filled annual dinner, but everyone should know that the organization raises and distributes thousands of dollars each year for important journalism causes," said ASNE President Pam Fine, Knight Chair for News, Leadership and Community at The University of Kansas. "We're extremely grateful that this prestigious organization is willing to help fund ASNE's efforts to support news leaders in providing quality journalism and advocating for open government."
As in the past, the funding is providing significant support to ASNE's Sunshine Week initiative this year and will help with other legal activities under the guidance of ASNE Legal Counsel Kevin Goldberg. Led by ASNE and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Sunshine Week is an annual, weeklong celebration to raise public awareness about the importance of open government and freedom of information. This year, it kicked off Sunday and will continue to shine through Saturday. This important initiative also receives continuous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Bloomberg.
Some of the legal activities ASNE was involved in during the past year are advocating for changes to the federal Freedom of Information Act and for passage of a federal "Anti-SLAPP" law to protect against frivolous defamation lawsuits; pressing the White House Press Office to allow greater access for journalists to subject matter experts at executive branch agencies; joining numerous news organizations on briefs involving access to government records, First Amendment rights and dangerous legal precedents that could prove harmful to journalists; and fighting against restrictive credentialing provisions for sporting and other events.
Founded in 1885, the Gridiron Club counts many of the district's leading journalists among its members. In 2008, it merged with the Gridiron Foundation and now makes annual contributions for journalism organizations and colleges.