Scripps Howard Foundation announces National Journalism Award winners

Fri, February 20, 1998 by Patty Cottingham

CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Scripps Howard Foundation today announced the winners of its National Journalism Awards.Six newspapers, two broadcast television stations, two radio news organizations and seven individuals are being recognized for excellence in categories including editorial writing, human interest writing, environmental and public service reporting, commentary, photojournalism, electronic journalism and cartooning.Four of the awards, including the first in the competition’s history to a non-journalist, recognize distinguished service to literacy and the First Amendment.Cash awards totaling $52,500 will be presented during a ceremony March 26 in Knoxville, Tenn., home of The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Home & Garden Television and Cinetel Productions, all owned by The E.W. Scripps Company. "The winners of the National Journalism Awards represent the best of our profession," said Judith G. Clabes, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. "They exemplify the highest caliber of reporting and public service, and provide proof through their excellent efforts of what is right with journalism today.’’William R. Burleigh, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company, praised the winners for being "bulwarks of this nation’s unique commitment to a free press.""Without such hardworking and impassioned print and electronic journalists, there is no free press," Burleigh said. "Their steadfast dedication to journalistic excellence and integrity is a profound contribution to the communities they serve. We at Scripps offer them our sincerest congratulations and our deepest thanks."The winners are:EDITORIAL WRITINGDaniel P. Henninger, The Wall Street JournalHenninger will receive $2,500 and the Walker Stone Award trophy.Henninger is described by The Wall Street Journal as its pre-eminent wordsmith. He won for his editorials on a range of issues, including the International Monetary Fund, presidential politics and cloning. Judges said: "Dan Henninger’s powerful voice for morality in government and society stands out from a group of remarkable editorial writers. His gifts are clarity, grace, humor and an ability to provoke."HUMAN INTEREST WRITINGJohn Balzar, Los Angeles TimesBalzar will receive $2,500 and the Ernie Pyle Award trophy.Balzar won for his masterful stories of adventure - of mushing dogs across Alaska; of placing fifth in a boat race from Los Angeles to Honolulu; and of an 80-year-old rapids runner’s last ride through the Grand Canyon. Judges said: "In the same way that Ernie Pyle brought his readers to the front lines of World War II, John Balzar has transported his readers to the frontiers of action and adventure." ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING - Over 100,000 circulationThe Sacramento (Calif.) Bee (Tom Knudson, Nancy Vogel)The newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Edward J. Meeman Award trophy.In a five-part series, "The Gathering Storm," reporters Tom Knudson and Nancy Vogel, uncovered the gulf between flood prevention planning and record high spending on federal flood relief. Judges said: "The Bee deserves credit for alerting us to the long-term consequences of short-term decisions. Their series on flooding portends a national crisis."ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING - Under 100,000 circulationCape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass. (William Mills, Anne Brennan, Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon)The newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Edward J. Meeman Award trophy.The Cape Cod Times won for its six-part series, "Broken Trust: The Failed Cleanup at the Massachusetts Military Reservation." The series uncovered mismanagement in the clean up of a 22,000-acre federal Superfund site. Judges said: "This entry is a rare combination of explanatory, investigative and civic journalism. It taught. It blamed. It searched for solutions." PUBLIC SERVICE REPORTING - Over 100,000 circulationAsbury Park Press, Neptune, N.J.The newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Roy W. Howard Award trophy.Asbury Park Press won for its comprehensive "What Ails Asbury Park," a series of articles that uncovered land scams, greed, high crime, corruption, crumbling buildings, political apathy, poverty and disaffected youth. Judges said: "This tenacious effort, chock-full of serious, aggressive reporting and devoid of trendy gimmicks, shows how the practice of good newspapering today is as it always has been: in the trenches, oblivious to pressures of civic groups and advertisers."PUBLIC SERVICE REPORTING - Under 100,000 circulationPensacola (Fla.) News JournalThe newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Roy W. Howard Award trophy.With meticulous care, persistence and courage, The Pensacola News Journal examined the religious movement known as The Brownsville Revival with a series of stories labeled "The Money and the Myth." The newspaper focused on painstakingly gathered facts and avoided ridicule of the belief of adherents. Judges said: "Using all the techniques of clear, expository journalism, the News Journal took its readers inside one of the nation’s largest revival movements."COMMENTARYDonald Kaul, The Des Moines (Iowa) RegisterKaul will receive $2,500 and a trophy.Kaul won for columns that are clear and mordant, wide-ranging and reliably unpredictable. His columns are filled with surprising twists and memorable phrases. Judges said: "He’s a craftsman with languages and a wit attractive even when you don’t agree."PHOTOJOURNALISMMartha Rial, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteRial will receive $2,500 and a trophy.Martha Rial submitted a stunning portfolio of arresting portraits. Judges said: "This photojournalist’s impeccable feel for composition, coupled with her compassion and sense of irony, yields unforgettable images." COLLEGE CARTOONISTBrian Fairrington, Arizona State UniversityFairrington will receive $2,500 and the Charles M. Schulz Award trophy.Fairrington won for 15 political cartoons that dealt with campus, national and international issues. He took on some of the headier issues on campuses of the 1990s, including date rape, binge drinking and campus security. Judges said: "These are tough issues and it’s good to see a young person grappling with them. Plus, his artistic style is very polished for someone at his stage of development."DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO LITERACY (Two winners)· The Knoxville News-Sentinel· Betty J. Frey, Tucson Adult Literacy Volunteers Inc.The newspaper and Frey each will receive $2,500, the Charles E. Scripps Award trophy, and a $5,000 donation from the Scripps Howard Foundation to the literacy group of their choice.Judges said of The News-Sentinel: "For the past 13 years, the employees of The Knoxville News-Sentinel have promoted reading and writing by devoting countless hours and many dollars to literacy organizations in East Tennessee. The outside work comes on top of a continuing commitment to literacy within the pages of The News-Sentinel."Judges said of Betty Frey: "A four-decade dedication to literacy has proven that a single caring individual can make a huge difference to many thousands of people. Literacy is the key to learning. Betty Frey, now in her 84th year, has selflessly dedicated herself to providing that key."DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO THE FIRST AMENDMENT (Two winners)· Jeff Montgomery, The News Journal, Dover, Del.· The Palm Beach Post (Pat Moore, Jennifer Peltz, Jenny Staletovich, and Stephanie Desmon)Montgomery and The Palm Beach Post each will receive $2,500, the Edward Willis Scripps Award trophy and an invitation to deliver the First Amendment lecture at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where permanent recognition of the recipients will be displayed.Montgomery provided an in-depth examination of the Delaware Department of Transportation’s land leasing practices that showed inefficiency, inside-dealing and waste. Judges said: "The series reminds us of the importance of keeping open these most public of public records."The Palm Beach Post won for a series of articles that revealed that politicians in three counties were routinely violating Florida’s Sunshine Law. Judges said: "A compelling package clearly and neatly presented, conveying the importance of monitoring open government on the local level."JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Large market television/cableWABC-TV, New York, N.Y.The station will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.WABC-TV won for its half-hour documentary, "Room 104 - The Overcrowding Crisis." The documentary exposed the seriousness of classroom overcrowding by spending the school year with a first grade class in a Brooklyn public school. Judges said: "That the school system moved quickly to expand the school and shrink classes proves that good investigative reporting can make a difference."JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Small market television/cableWANE-TV, Fort Wayne, Ind. The station will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.WANE-TV won for an exclusive interview with a death row inmate whose powerful anti-drug message is being used by police, schools, counselors and parents in several states. Judges said: "An outstanding example of how good television news can be when it covers a story in depth."JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Large market radioWestwood One - Mutual/NBC, Arlington, Va.The network will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.The network won for "Lessons of Little Rock," its then-and-now look at the Brown vs. The Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Judges said: "Westwood One-Mutual/NBC let us hear the adversaries then, of course, but also now, 40 years after their confrontation. Some of the recent comments are troubling. All are compelling."JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Small market radioAlabama Public Radio, Tuscaloosa, Ala.The station will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.The station won for its balanced, in-depth report on the clash between the residents of Tennessee and North Carolina over the health of the Pigeon River. "Alabama Public Radio gave life to what could have been a mundane legal story.’’FINALISTS AND JUDGESEDITORIAL WRITINGFINALISTS: Erik Lukens, The Trentonian, Trenton, N.J.; Larry Dale Keeling, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-LeaderJUDGES: Cynthia Tucker, editorial page editor, Atlanta Constitution; Richard Oppel, editor, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; and Edward Seaton, publisher and editor, The Manhattan (N.Y.) Mercury.HUMAN INTEREST WRITINGFINALIST: Ken Fuson, The Baltimore SunJUDGES: Tim J. McGuire, editor/senior vice president of new media, Star-Tribune, Minneapolis; Colleen Conant, vice president/executive editor, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.; Stan Tiner, editor/vice president for news, Mobile (Ala.) Register; and Morris Thompson, editorial page editor, Philadelphia Daily News.ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTINGFINALISTS: Duff Wilson, The Seattle Times; Dieter Bradbury, Portland (Maine.) Press HeraldJUDGES: Timothy J. Gallagher, editor, Ventura (Calilf.) County Star; Madelyn Ross, managing editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; and Thomas H. Greer, vice president/senior editor, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland.PUBLIC SERVICE REPORTINGFINALISTS: Will Englund and Gary Cohn, The Baltimore Sun; Mike McGraw, Karen Dillon, Steve Rock, and Greg Reeves, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star; and Kevin Corcoran, The Times, Hammond, Ind.JUDGES: Louis D. Boccardi, president and CEO, The Associated Press; Robert Burdick, editor and vice president, Rocky Mountain News, Denver; Tim Kelly, president and publisher, The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader; and Jane Healy, managing editor, The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel.COMMENTARYFINALIST: Cynthia Tucker, Atlanta ConstitutionJUDGES: Reid Ashe, publisher, Tampa (Fla.) Tribune; Angus McEachran, editor and president, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.; Jennie Buckner, editor The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. PHOTOJOURNALISMFINALIST: Susan Watts, New York Daily NewsJUDGES: Jane E. Kirtley, executive director, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; Merv Aubespin, associate editor, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.; Anthony Marro, editor/executive vice president, Newsday, New York.COLLEGE CARTOONISTFINALISTS: Darrin Bell, University of California, Berkeley; Drew Sheneman, Central Michigan University; Scott Schmidt, University of MissouriJUDGES: Lucy Caswell, associate professor and curator, Cartoon Research Library, The Ohio State University; Al Roker, weather and feature reporter, NBC News, The Today Show; Charles M. Schulz, creator of PEANUTS.EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC JOURNALISM - TV/CABLE/RADIOFINALISTS: NoneJUDGES: Eric Ober, president and CEO, Cinetel Productions; Harry A. Jessell, executive editor, Broadcasting & Cable; Nick Clooney, columnist, The Cincinnati Post, host for American Movie Classics.Kirtley, Aubespin and Marro also served as judges for the Distinguished Service to the First Amendment category.Ober, Jessell and Clooney also served as judges for the Distinguished Service to Literacy category.Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism, education, scholarships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes.