Hopkins named VCOG’s V.P.
Wat Hopkins, a journalism professor at Virginia Tech, is the new
vice president of VCOG. He succeeds Dave Cupp, former news director
of WVIR-TV, Charlottesville.
Hopkins teaches communications law, serves on the Montgomery County
School Board and is a member of Virginia’s Freedom of Information
Cupp’s last day at NBC29 was Dec. 17. Described as "the
face of Charlottesville" in a recent newspaper profile, he anchored
the station’s 6 p.m. news and oversaw a staff of 40 employees
and three news bureaus.
He is leaving Virginia to join his wife in Cambridge, Mass., where
she has taken a position with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Re-elected to a new two-year term as VCOG’s president was Paul
McMasters, the Freedom Forum ’s First Amendment ombudsman,
Ed Jones, editor of The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, and Harry
Hammitt, publisher of Access Reports, were re-elected secretary and
Fifer named to FOIA Council; 1 of 2 new VCOG directors
Gov. Warner appointed Craig T. Fifer to the Virginia Freedom of Information
Advisory Council. Fifer, formerly with Roanoke’s e-gov program,
is e-gov manager for the City of Alexandria. He succeeds Richmond
attorney David Anderson, a Gilmore appointee, on the council.
Fifer also was named recently to the Coalition’s Board of Directors,
succeeding Jack Kennedy, Wise County clerk of courts.
A Washington and Lee University professor, Pam Luecke, also was recently
elected as a VCOG director. She succeeds Hamp Smith, another W&L
Re-elected as public members were Rod Smolla, dean of the University
of Richmond law school, and Cy Dillon, Ferrum College librarian.
Dorothy Abernathy, AP bureau chief, was reappointed to the board
as a representative of the Virginia Association of Broadcasters. Also
named to a VAB seat was Kathy Mohn, general manager of WSLS-TV, Roanoke.
Lawrence McConnell, The Charlottesville Daily Progress publisher,
was reappointed by the Virginia Press Association.
VPA and the VAB designate five VCOG board members each; 13 other
board members, including Luecke and Fifer, are public representatives.
Lexington to host Access ’05
Save this date: Nov. 17-18.
That’s the date for Access 2005 -- our seventh annual state
If you have suggestions for topics or speakers, please let us know.
Spreading the word
VCOG’s Web site keeps getting "hit" (in a good way).
Average page views exceeded 13,000 in October, a 35 percent increase
over the same month in 2003.
Unique visitors exceeded 4,000 in October, almost double the rate
of a year earlier.
Spreading the mission
The North Carolina Open Government Coalition sponsored its first
North Carolina Open Government Seminar in Charlotte on Nov. 9.
Tennessee’s new Coalition for Open Government organized a statewide
public-records audit and developed a Web site.
The new Maryland Foundation for Open Government gained IRS approval
as a nonprofit. Frosty Landon addressed its steering committee at
a Baltimore meeting in mid-November.
Kentucky also has begun organizing an open-government group.
Notice of bylaw change
VCOG’s board will vote on a bylaws change at its next meeting,
March 3, in Norfolk. If approved, executive directors of the Virginia
Press Association and the Virginia Association of Broadcasters will
be permitted to designate alternates as ex officio board members.
C-JOG’s Web site
The new Coalition of Journalists for Open Government has a Web site
that tracks open government developments, particularly federal-level
The journalists’ group is based in Northern Virginia. Members
include the National Freedom of Information Coalition.
In our last newsletter, we incorrectly reported the cause of Jay
The long-time editor of Hanover County's semi-weekly newspaper died
after a brief illness; however, the actual cause of death ws not publicly