The First Amendment Foundation Will Add Offices at The Poynter Institute and Partner on Training Programs and Events

'Sunshine' Certificate, seminars and other open-records events highlight 2016 training

Dec 18, 2015, 09:00 ET from The Poynter Institute

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The First Amendment Foundation, a 31-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to open government in Florida, announced today that it will add offices and move its administrative management from Tallahassee to The Poynter Institute here. In addition, the two organizations will partner on training and events, including the creation of a new online "Sunshine Certificate" to help educate elected officials on open government laws.

The Foundation will rent space for a staff member at the Poynter campus in St. Petersburg while continuing to maintain an office in Tallahassee. Poynter will provide management services to support the Foundation's membership, website and financial accounting. The Foundation is the third organization in 2015 to turn to Poynter for management services, following the move to Poynter by the Association of Opinion Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

Key training components include: an innovative online "Sunshine" certificate; an annual symposium; regional seminars; and development of a digital version of the 2016 Government-in-the-Sunshine manual.  

"I'm thrilled to be working closely with the First Amendment Foundation, which for more than three decades has been a champion for government in the sunshine in the Sunshine State," said Poynter President Tim Franklin. "In the end, Poynter and the First Amendment Foundation have the same mission, and that's to improve democracy through public engagement. This is a partnership that will ultimately strengthen both organizations, and make our important work for journalists and citizens even better."

Dave Wilson, chairman of the Foundation's board of trustees, said, "The First Amendment Foundation is delighted to have found a strong partner in the Poynter Institute to help further our core mission of preserving open government in Florida through information and education. Keeping our government in the sunshine is important to all Floridians, and this new relationship will leverage the expertise of both organizations so we can spread that message for years to come."

The First Amendment Foundation joins more than 20 organizations that have partnered with Poynter in recent months. Poynter's other partners include Google, Gannett, McClatchy, Univision, The Associated Press, National Geographic and the Institute of International Education's Fulbright Scholar program.

About the First Amendment Foundation
The Florida First Amendment Foundation has been the state's principal advocate for open government for three decades, monitoring proposed legislation and the implementation of public records and open meetings laws. In that role, it has helped keep Florida in the Sunshine, aiding the media in their watchdog role, enabling citizens and civic groups to become more effective participants in their government, and providing training to public officials charged with execution of those laws. Its leadership in the fight for open government has been recognized not just in Florida but at the national and international levels. 

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world's largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute's website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world's top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

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The Poynter Institute
Tdyakon@poynter.org
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