J. Russell Wiggins

J Russell Wiggins

Former editor of The Washington Post and American Society of Newspaper Editors president (1959-60), Russell Wiggins was an early advocate of FOIA, and along with editor James S. Pope, one of the principal movers and shakers pushing for its adoption.

He testified extensively before the committee chaired by Rep. John Moss as it developed the Freedom of Information Act. Wiggins drew up the ASNE Declaration of Principles in 1957 to lay down the gauntlet.

“ASNE,” he wrote, “must stand guard for the right to know, fighting measures that restrict it at home or abroad, particularly withholding of information at local, state or federal levels.”

Russ Wiggins died in 2000.

Charter member of the Hall of Fame.