Best of the West runs its annual contest on a tight budget and uses volunteers for judging and other contest duties in order to provide as much money as possible each year for 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.

More than $260,000 in First Amendment Grants have been awarded to organizations in Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wyoming since 1988. Best of the West grants were instrumental in getting the organizations in Montana, New Mexico and Utah up and running.

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