Kansas Sunshine Coalition honors The Sunflower for ‘courageous work’


Brian Hayes

The Above and Beyond Award for 2018 given by the Sunshine Coalition for Open Goverment to The Sunflower for its investigative work over the past year.

The Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government has presented The Sunflower with the Above and Beyond Award for 2018.

The Kansas Sunshine Coalition board voted unanimously to give the award to The Sunflower “for the staff’s exemplary reporting on a host of conflicts and controversies involving Wichita State University over the past year.

“The Sunflower’s courageous work rose far above the paper’s routinely fine journalism and resulted in much needed sunshine despite heavy hostility from, and a lack of transparency by, university and student senate leaders,” reads a letter from the coalition’s president, Ron Keefover.

“The Coalition board believes that the paper’s reporting and editorializing has changed the campus political landscape and has stirred faculty and alumni concerns and involvement. Their investigations have forced the university to deal publicly with many questionable decisions made behind closed doors.”

The Kansas Sunshine Coalition presented the award to The Sunflower and the Emporia State Bulletin at the Elliott School of Communication’s awards ceremony Friday.

It was the first time the coalition gave the award to any college newspaper. The award typically goes to local newspapers or state politicians in recognition of their work in promoting open government.