Wanda Garner Cash, a veteran Texas newswoman and educator who has long fought for the public’s right to know, will receive the 2016 James Madison Award presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.
The award is given to individuals who demonstrate outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment and open government.
Cash will receive the honor on Sept. 8 during the FOIFT’s annual Bernard and Audre Rapoport State Conference in Austin. The State Bar of Texas’s 2016 Texas Gavel Awards, which honor journalism that deepens the understanding of the legal system, also will be awarded at the conference.
Cash held editorial roles in several Texas community newspapers and she and her husband, Richard, once owned a weekly newspaper, The Ingram News. She served as president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, Texas Press Association and Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.
According to a news release from FOIFT, Cash lead a media coalition to push for a Texas reporters’ shield law and served as the media member of the Texas Supreme Court’s Judicial Advisory Council’s Committee on Public Access to Court Records.
In 2012, she was inducted into the Texas Intercollegiate Press Hall of Fame. She retired in August, culminating her career by serving as associate director of the University of Texas School of Journalism.
“Wanda Cash has been a leading open government advocate and passionate voice for the First Amendment and freedom of the press in Texas for decades,” Paul Watler, past president of the FOIFT and chair of the foundation’s James Madison Award committee, said in a statement.
The James Madison Award has been given to journalists, attorneys, elected officials, and vigilant citizens since 1987. Last year’s recipient was former State Sen. Don Adams.
For more information on FOIFT and its state conference visit www.foift.org.
More information on the Texas Gavel Awards, winner bios, and their stories, go to texasbar.com/gavelawards.