Peter Scheer

Peter Scheer to receive Jack Bates Award

The California Press Foundation will honor Peter Scheer of the First Amendment Coalition with its Jack Bates Award.

Named after its first recipient and CNPA’s legendary former executive director, the award represents effective leadership in addressing newspaper challenges. The award will be presented to Scheer on Thursday evening, Dec. 1 at the 139th Annual Cal Press Winter Meeting at the Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco.

Scheer has been the executive director of the First Amendment Coalition (formerly the California First Amendment Coalition) since 2004. Before joining FAC, Scheer was editor and publisher of The Recorder, a daily legal newspaper in San Francisco; publisher of Legal Times, a Washington, D.C.-based weekly on law and lobbying; and CEO of and

Scheer practiced appellate law in Washington, D.C., both in the U.S. Justice Department and in private practice. He was a partner in the Washington, D.C., firm of Onek, Klein & Farr, and was general counsel to the National Security Archive. He has argued appellate cases in most of the federal courts of appeal and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Scheer is a recipient of the Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award and the James Madison Freedom of Information Award. Scheer’s articles on First Amendment issues and related issues have appeared in numerous publications, both print and online, including The Sacramento Bee,, Huffington Post, San Jose Mercury News,, Orange County Register, San Francisco Chronicle, The San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

As the current executive director of FAC, Scheer is credited with maintaining the defense of “the people’s right to know” while taking the organization in new directions with high-profile initiatives. This has included an aggressive campaign to make sure the courts and lawmakers interpret the Brown Act, the California Public Records Act and Prop. 59 broadly in favor of government transparency.

Please honor Scheer by joining the members of Cal Press in San Francisco at its Winter Meeting. Full registration for the Dec. 1-2 event is $195. Partial registration is available.

Details and registration

Questions? Contact Renee Smith, (916) 288-6017.

Previously: FAC to cover money in politics Dec. 1