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About Joe Adams

Joe Adams wrote the book on public records in Florida.

His 10 years of research produced the Florida Public Records Handbook, the ultimate guide to the state's most useful public records. Recognized as the only handbook of its kind in any state, the 457-page manual has earned national recognition (news) from the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. Instructors at eight universities have used the handbook, published by the First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee, to teach Florida's next generation of reporters and researchers about public records and freedom of information issues. He is the recipient of the national 2007 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award sponsored by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation and has earned two national Sunshine Awards from the national Society of Professional Journalists. In December 2000, Presstime magazine profiled Adams as one of the top 20 under 40 newspaper industry professionals to watch in the future.

He is among the national freedom of information trainers for SPJ, and more than 1,000 journalists have attended his workshops on how to use public records for success. His public records coaching for journalists includes seminars for the The Associated Press, News Train, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald, the Florida Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, Orlando Sentinel, WBBH-Channel 2 in Fort Myers, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Palm Beach Post, The Florida Times-Union, the Florida Asian American Journalists Association, the Naples Daily News, Panama City News-Herald, and Media General's Tampa Bay-area properties, including The Tampa Tribune, WFLA-TV and Sunbelt Newspapers. He has presented other seminars for National Writer's Workshops in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida News Librarians Association and the Special Libraries Association News Librarians Division national conference (news). He also has appeared as a panelist at conferences hosted by the Freedom Forum Newsroom Trainers Group, the National Association of Black Journalists, The Florida Bar and the national Society of Professional Journalists. Adams also taught information gathering for two years as an adjunct professor at the University of North Florida.

His two decades in the news business includes more than three dozen awards as a reporter, editor, editorial writer and newsroom trainer. As an editorial writer at the Times-Union in Jacksonville, Adams has earned a National Headliner Award, two Green Eyeshade Awards, a Florida Bar Media Award and other first place awards from the Florida Press Club, Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Adams is founder and past coordinator of Times-Union University, the Jacksonville newspaper's newsroom training program, and is also former director of the National Newspaper Diversity Job Bank on the Internet.


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