Award is tribute to attorney

David E. Hudson: Augusta lawyer has been an advocate for public access to government records and meetings.

An annual state First Amendment award will be named for an Augusta lawyer.


The Georgia Press Association has announced the creation of the David E. Hudson Open Government Award to honor those who advance the fight for public access to government.

"I was humbled and honored that they would associate my name with something that involves informing the public," Mr. Hudson said. "The longer that I am involved in representing the press and the longer that I observe the operation of government, the more convinced I am that the Founding Fathers were correct when they wrote that an informed citizenry is essential for democracy to flourish. It means a great deal to me to be given the opportunity to participate with Georgia newspapers in that effort."

Mr. Hudson, a partner in the Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley law firm, has been a tireless advocate for the cause of public access to government records and meetings in Georgia for more than 30 years, the press association said in a statement. He has written much of the state's code concerning open government.

As the press association's legal counsel, Mr. Hudson has become the first call for nearly every newspaper editor in the state when access to records or meetings is blocked, and both politicians and publishers seek his advice on such issues, the statement said.

At future GPA conventions, the award will be presented to a Georgia publication or individual that has shown support for the cause of open access to government through publication, research, legislation or other actions.