Former P-I exec takes national freedom of information post
by Joe Copeland
Ken Bunting Credit: National Freedom of Information Coalition
Ken Bunting, the No. 2 person at the late Seattle Post-Intelligencer, will become executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), a nonpartisan coalition of open-government groups and advocates.
The coalition, connected to the University of Missouri’s highly regarded journalism program, announced the appointment today (June 17).
Bunting served as associate publisher of the P-I for five years, after running the newsroom and leading it to multiple national and regional journalism awards. In addition to writing an editorial-page column rich with his political knowledge after his move to associate publisher, he was highly involved in shaping the paper’s editorial positions, working on community issues, and advocating for open government.
In a press release, Dean Mills, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism, said, “Ken Bunting is a wonderful addition to the NFOIC organization, and we’re proud to welcome him to the School of Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in First Amendment and access issues, and his many years of journalism experience make him a great fit here.”
Bunting, who is known to have been on the short list for a number of high-visibility leadership positions here since the P-I’s closure, said in an e-mail that he and his wife, Juli, will move to Missouri.
He will be the first full-time executive director of the coalition. The university said, “Bunting will oversee all daily operations of the NFOIC, including fundraising, coalition building, and managing the Knight Freedom of Information Fund, a new initiative created by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support FOI (freedom of information) litigation.”
Bunting was a member of the board of directors of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships, and he served on the state’s “sunshine committee” looking at the accumulation of exemptions to public disclosure laws.