UF visiting professor wins Vigilance in Journalism award
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Pinellas County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union recently recognized University of Florida visiting professor Wayne Garcia for his lucid take on government action.
The ACLU chapter gave the Irene Miller Vigilance in Journalism award to Wayne Garcia, who is teaching at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications.
The chapter’s board members unanimously chose Garcia for his “clear objective reporting of the actions of government,” chapter President Thom Foley said.
“As soon as the name was mentioned, it was like a ripple of ‘Oh, that’s perfect!’ It was an instantaneous unanimous decision,” Foley said.
The few board members who were unfamiliar with Garcia also chimed in once they read his work, praising his diversity, wit, eloquence and ability to zone in on the right issues, Foley said.
Garcia believes his work at Tampa’s alternative weekly Creative Loafing, where he wrote a political blog for nearly five years, stood out the most to the board members. In that blog, he was a voice for open government and good political dialogue and wrote a lot about how to solve Tampa Bay’s political problems.
“We all have a responsibility to our community to pay attention to what’s going on with elected officials,” Garcia said. “The more speech, the better.”
The chapter gives the award, which it renamed in 2001 for its late president, annually to journalists.
The college offers undergraduate programs in advertising, print and broadcast journalism, public relations, and telecommunication; and graduate programs in science/health communication, media law, political communication and international communication.