The California First Amendment Coalition has presented one of its Beacon awards to the Mercury News for its efforts to bring more openess to San Jose City Hall. The efforts ame at a time when one council member resigned after accepting expensive gifts, and Mayor Ron Gonzales and top aide Joe Guerra were indicted on charges that include fraud and bribery in awarding a city contract, the Merc points out. Other recipients of the Beacon Award — given to those who “exemplify the spirit of the First Amendment” — include:
- • Harvey Levin and his celebrity gossip sitewww.tmz.com for reporting on the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department decision to withhold information on the arrest of actor Mel Gibson.
• The Daily Triplicate’s two-person staff who fought attempts to seal court records.
• The Merced Sun-Star for reporting on local corruption.
• John Hancock and the California Channel for educational reporting on government and elections.