Nov. 2 is deadline to submit nominations for James Madison First Amendment Award

James Madison – 4th U.S. President was a champion for the First Amendment

The Scripps Howard First Amendment Center at the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media is accepting nominations for the James Madison Award, which recognizes those outside the journalism profession for their contributions to protect or expand First Amendment freedoms.

The nominator must submit a letter identifying the nominee, listing the nominee’s address, phone number and position, and explaining 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 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.

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.

Send nomination letters via e-mail to John Cruz, School of Journalism and Media Projects Manager, at by Monday, November 2, 2020.

For more information about the award and past winners, go to

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