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Oct 21, 2014

Sun Journal wins Publick Occurrences award for CDC investigation


Category: Firm News

We are proud to announce that our client the Sun Journal has been awarded the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s prestigious Publick Occurrences award for courage, excellence and independence in reporting.  NENPA gave the award to the newspaper for its investigation of document-shredding at the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Created in 1991, the award is named after the first newspaper published in the United States, called Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick, established in Boston on Sept. 25, 1690, and suppressed by the royal governor four days later.

In presenting the award, NENPA judges said the Sun Journal's investigative work "embodies what the Publick Occurrences award represents. Sun Journal Executive Editor Rex Rhoades said, "The Sun Journal's reporting demonstrated that freedom of information laws and an aggressive free press are essential to government accountability."

The Sun Journal’s investigation of CDC document-shredding was also named runner-up for NENPA's Morley L. Piper First Amendment Award for exceptional work in illuminating and upholding the rights and freedoms of the First Amendment.  Judges said, “The newspaper lived up to the highest role envisioned for a free press — serving as watchdog on government — through a major investment of staff effort, well-written stories and strong editorials, and clearly, a commitment of financial resources."

Staff Writer Lindsay Tice and State Politics Editor Scott Thistle were the principal writers on the project. Other writers were Rhoades and Judith Meyer, managing editor/days, who wrote editorials critical of CDC’s destruction of public documents and called for accountability from state officials.

The Sun Journal's award was one of a small number of Publick Occurrences awards handed out to New England newspapers at the NENPA fall conference in Natick, Mass., October 16th.

The Sun Journal also was named a distinguished newspaper, sharing the honor with The Standard-Times in New Bedford, Mass.

We at Skelton, Taintor & Abbott have had the privilege of representing the Sun Journal family of papers for decades and we congratulate Rex, Judy, the reporters and staff, and the Costello family for their continuing record of outstanding publications.

Bryan Dench, Chairman of the Board