One of the top awards presented annually to newspapers by the Associated Press Media Editors is the First Amendment Award. Each year three newspapers win it, and one is named the sweepstakes winner at the APME conference.
Starting in 2013, the sweepstakes award will be named for Tom Curley, retired CEO of The Associated Press, and the winner will receive $1,500 from the APME Foundation, APME President Bob Heisse announced Thursday at the group's annual conference in Nashville, Tenn.
Curley led the AP for nine years and was known for leading a corporate push for openness in government.
"The powerful have to be watched, and we are the watchers," he said in a 2004 speech in Riverside, Calif. That speech is credited with helping bring media organizations together to form the Sunshine in Government Initiative, which works to make government more accessible and accountable.
Curley was 12th person to lead the cooperative since its founding in 1846.