Madison Award nominations being accepted by First Amendment Center

The Scripps Howard First Amendment Center is looking for a Kentuckian who is a champion of the First Amendment.

James Madison – 4th U.S. President 

The center in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky is requesting nominations for its annual James Madison Award. The award, created in 2006, honors the nation’s fourth president, whose extraordinary efforts led to the passage and ratification of the Bill of Rights.

The Madison Award recognizes someone who has worked in one or more of these areas: open government and open records; promotion of the watchdog role of the press; defense against government or private censorship, or robust debate in the marketplace of ideas.

Nominees must have significant ties to Kentucky, and their efforts must have resulted in the preservation or expansion of freedom of the press and/or freedom of speech. Dedication to the First Amendment principle of free expression is not accomplished in a day’s work but rather a lifetime. Thus the award recognizes a long-term commitment to such ideals.

The deadline for nominations is Sept. 1.

Honorees do not have to be journalists. Nominees may include, for example, educators, lawyers, judges, scholars, librarians, students or ordinary citizens. The most deserving recipient will be someone who has made a significant contribution regardless of how much public attention it has received.

The nominator should submit a letter identifying the nominee, listing the nominee’s address, phone number and position, and explain why the nominee would be a worthy recipient. The letter should detail the specific efforts taken on behalf of First Amendment rights and should discuss obstacles and difficulties as well as the impact of the nominee’s efforts. The nominator may include up to three letters of support as well as other materials such as published or broadcast information.

Entries will be reviewed by a committee that will include previous winners and the director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center. The committee will have the option of not selecting a recipient if it does not believe any candidate is deserving.

The award will be presented at the annual First Amendment Celebration, 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in the William T. Young Library auditorium on the university campus.

Nominations should be sent to Mike Farrell, Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, School of Journalism and Media, 120 Grehan Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0042, or emailed to

For more information, contact Mike Farrell, director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center at (859) 257-4848, or

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