Haussamen wins open government award

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Heath Haussamen

Heath Haussamen

NMID’s Deputy Director Heath Haussamen has won the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government’s annual award given to journalists who fight for transparency.

We thought we’d share the news because we’re proud. Real proud.

Haussamen, a well-known advocate for more transparency in government, shares this year’s William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award for journalism with the Santa Fe Reporter, one of NMID’s media partners, according to a news release sent out yesterday by the open government foundation (FOG).

For years, Haussamen has written and reported on — and sometimes demanded in insightful commentaries — the need for more light to shine on government decisions. (You can read his most recent transparency commentaries here and here.) Before co-founding New Mexico In Depth last year with Executive Director Trip Jennings, Haussamen ran NMPolitics.net, a nonpartisan and widely read New Mexico politics and government news website for nearly seven years.

“Wow. I’m honored to win the Dixon Award. Congratulations to the other winners, too,” Haussamen said. “Onward! Combating government secrecy is imperative.”

Haussamen and The Reporter were just two of this year’s six recipients. FOG also honored Former Santa Fe New Mexican editor Rob Dean with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Winning the organization’s Law Award were Patrick Griebel and Jeremy Theoret, attorneys who fought for and won the rights of the public to know the truth about Billy the Kid’s death. This year’s Citizen Award went to William Turner for his fight to open the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District organization to the public.

“These individuals, and one newspaper, have fought for the public’s right to know and for government transparency in New Mexico,” FOG Executive Director Terry Schleder said in the news release. “Innovations in how we access our public documents and history come very fast today, and there are plenty of people who pay lip service to openness in government. But very few people will truly make history come alive – in court or on the page – to protect the public’s right to know what their government is doing, or has done, on their behalf.”

FOG will honor Haussamen and the others at its annual awards ceremony on Oct. 2 at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque at 11:30 a.m. This year’s speaker will be Ruben Navarrette Jr., a syndicated columnist with the Washington Writers Group and columnist with the Albuquerque Journal.

Individual tickets are $60. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

All proceeds benefit FOG. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit nmfog.org or call the FOG Hotline at (888) 843-9121.

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