Note: Submissions from all media, regardless of circulation or media market, are judged together.
This award honors the best reporting that uses the N.J. Open Public Records Act to expose issues of public significance.
Among the judging criteria are: significance of the issues to the audience for which the reporting was done; impact of the reporting, if any; creativity and ingenuity shown in finding and using public records to document matters of public importance; persistence needed to overcome obstacles to release the records, if any; integrity and honesty in presenting results.
Guidelines: Entries should include a cover letter to provide useful context about the entry, such as significant obstacles encountered, or impacts achieved. If the nomination is for a team effort, the cover letter should identify either the news organization involved or the team members primarily responsible for the entry.
Entries must have been printed, broadcast or posted during the calendar year of 2020 (a series of stories that started in 2019 but was not completed until 2020 is also eligible).
This award pays tribute to Tim O’Brien, whose investigative reporting, first at The Star-Ledger and later at The New Jersey Law Journal, exemplified the qualities of courage, thoroughness, integrity, persistence and quiet idealism that we seek to honor.