The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida exists to advance understanding, appreciation and support for freedom of information in the state of Florida, the nation and the world.
The Brechner Center is the successor to the Florida Freedom of Information Clearinghouse, established in 1977. For nearly 10 years, the Clearinghouse operated under the direction of Professor Jo Anne Smith. Many of the funds for the Clearinghouse endowment were provided by the Florida news media.
Joseph L. Brechner, an Orlando broadcaster and advocate of freedom of information, provided more than $1 million for the eminent scholar endowment, funds to construct a suite of offices, and funds to enlarge the operational endowment. In 1986, the Clearinghouse was renamed the Joseph L. Brechner Center for Freedom of Information to honor Brechner. Through education and promotion of freedom of information laws and policies, the Center seeks to foster open government and a participatory democracy. In addition, The Brechner Center serves the public with information about the First Amendment, freedom of information, and access to government information issues.