Gridiron Club Donates $10,000 to ASNE

The Gridiron Club and Foundation, one of Washington's oldest and most prestigious journalism organizations, has approved the donation of $10,000 to help ASNE wage legal fights for the First Amendment and open government.

In recent years, the Gridiron Club has provided financial support for Sunshine Week, the annual ASNE-led effort to raise public awareness about the importance of freedom of information. However, because Bloomberg News has committed $25,000 for next year's Sunshine Week (March 10-16), the Gridiron Club has agreed to shift its donation to help underwrite ASNE legal activities. Sunshine Week also continues to receive generous financial support from the Knight Foundation, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press helps to coordinate the annual initiative.

Legal activities have become an increasingly important part of ASNE's work as it wages a wide range of open government and First Amendment battles. For example, ASNE legal counsel Kevin Goldberg has recently played a leading role in opposing dangerous federal legislation that could significantly limit the public's right to know by criminalizing leaks to the news media. ASNE also has been deeply involved in legal fights against a growing number of restrictive policies by colleges and high schools aimed at controlling media access. And on a regular basis, ASNE joins other media organizations in legal pleadings to protect the public's right to know.

Founded in 1885, the Gridiron Club counts many of Washington's leading journalists among its members. In 2008, it merged with the Gridiron Foundation and now makes annual contributions for journalism organizations and colleges.