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Central Washington University

Alumnus Accepts Sunshine Award from Society of Professional Journalists

Kevin Opsahl, a 2010 CWU journalism graduate, recently accepted the Sunshine Award from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists on behalf of his paper, The Herald Journal, in Logan, Utah.

The award recognizes journalists and others who fight for government transparency and work to keep public records open, according to SPJ.

Opsahl was a reporter for The Observer at CWU and an intern at the Daily Record in Ellensburg. He had been covering Utah State University for five years when he heard the university struck a deal for a long-term sponsorship that would rename and renovate the school’s football stadium, among other things.

He lodged an open records request for the contract. When the university turned him down, and did so again on appeal, Opsahl’s editors took the case to the Utah State Records Committee. The committee ruled 6-1 that the $6.3 million contract should be disclosed, and two weeks later, the parties complied.

“It was a really interesting process to see the State Records Committee at work,” Opsahl told an audience of Utah journalists as he accepted the award. “Ultimately, what this taught me as a reporter was that I was able to apply what I learned in school. … That’s a very gratifying feeling.”

Media contact: Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841, Barb.Arnott@cwu.edu

July 22, 2016

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