Mission and History
Best of the West was founded in 1987 to reward journalistic excellence and promote freedom of information.
It operates a journalism contest for newspapers, magazines and news websites in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming that is regarded as the region’s most prestigious awards competition with about 1,000 entries each year.
Proceeds from the contests are used to provide grants to media hotlines in the West that provide free or low-cost legal advice to journalists seeking access to public records and government meetings.
Best of the West has awarded more than $250,000 in grants to First Amendment organizations in Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wyoming since 1988.
CEO: John Leach
Chief Operating Officer: Mary Jo Pitzl
Board of Directors
President: Sky Schaudt
Vice President: Jose Merino
Secretary-Treasurer: Monica Alonzo
Directors: Sky Schaudt, Jose Merino, Monica Alonzo and Jeanette Chavez.
Best of the West was incorporated in 1987 as First Amendment Funding Inc., an Arizona nonprofit organization based in Phoenix.
Contact Best of the West by sending an e-mail.