Foundation announces National Journalism Award winners

Tue, March 09, 1999 by Patty Cottingham

CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Scripps Howard Foundation today announced the winners of its National Journalism Awards.Three newspapers, one broadcast television station, a radio station and nine individuals are being recognized for excellence in categories including editorial writing, human interest writing, environmental and public service reporting, business and economics reporting, commentary, photojournalism, electronic journalism and cartooning.Two of the awards recognize distinguished service to literacy and a third, awarded to seven Indiana newspapers, recognizes distinguished service to the First Amendment.Cash awards totaling $52,500 will be presented April 8 during a banquet at the Westin Hotel in downtown Cincinnati.“The caliber of entries in this year’s competition was astounding,” said Judith G. Clabes, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “Clearly, the winners represent a level of excellence in their profession that’s recognized and admired by their peers.’’William R. Burleigh, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company, praised the winners of the 1998 competition.“It’s heartening to know that there are people in our profession with such high standards, who are willing to give that extra effort to get it right,” Burleigh said. “Their work has made a difference in their communities. For journalists, there can be no higher praise.” The winners are:EDITORIAL WRITINGDavid V. Hawpe, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.Hawpe will receive $2,500 and the Walker Stone Award trophy.Hawpe won for editorials written as part of a series of reports critical of Kentucky’s coal industry. Judges said: “These editorials show clear outrage, a rarity among the entries. The editorials are short, forceful, passionate, eloquent. There is no mincing of words.”Finalists: John Boston, The Signal, Santa Clarita, Calif.; Michael Gartner, The Tribune, Ames, Iowa.HUMAN INTEREST WRITINGGary M. Pomerantz, The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPomerantz will receive $2,500 and the Ernie Pyle Award trophy.Pomerantz won for a series, “9 minutes, 20 Seconds,” that told the story of 29 people aboard a commuter plane that crashed in a Georgia hayfield. Judges said: “In the tradition of Ernie Pyle, Pomerantz told the story of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. His reporting was thorough, his storytelling was riveting, and his respect, even love, for his subjects was powerful.” Finalists: Larry Bingham, Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram; Todd Lewan, Associated Press.ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING - Over 100,000 circulationThe Seattle Times (Jim Simon, Deborah Nelson, Eric Nalder, Danny Westneat)The newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Edward J. Meeman Award trophy. In an investigative series, “Trading Away the West,” The Seattle Times showed how taxpayers were short-changed when the federal government traded public land to developers, speculators, even environmental groups. Judges said: “The Times’ work has forced a review of federal land-trade policy. This is environmentally-focused public-interest reporting at its best.”Finalists: Star Tribune, Minneapolis (Chris Ison, Joe Rigert, Richard Meryhew, Tom Meersman); Jim Morris, Houston Chronicle.ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING - Under 100,000 circulationYakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic (Jennifer Hieger, Bill Heisel Jr.)The newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Edward J. Meeman Award trophy.The environmental challenges brought by a move toward factory farming in dairy country were chronicled in “The Dairy Boom – Growth, Trouble and Transition.” Judges said: “The newspaper documents the mountains-of-manure issue with thorough research and striking examples.”Finalists: Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill. (Arvin Donley, Dave Moore, Debbie Pierce); Scott Streater, Pensacola (Fla.) News JournalPUBLIC SERVICE REPORTING - Over 100,000 circulationThe Philadelphia Inquirer (Mark Fazlollah, Michael Matza, Craig McCoy)The newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Roy W. Howard Award trophy.The investigative series ‘Downgrading the Offense’ exposed how the Philadelphia police department for years had downgraded major crimes or excluded them from their official tally. Judge said: “The strong investigative work redefined crime in Philadelphia. It also brought changes to the system. The newspaper went a step further. They placed 700,000 crimes on their web site, involving readers by giving the public access to years of crime reports.” Finalists: Alix M. Freedman, The Wall Street Journal; The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock (Mary Hargrove, Linda Satter, Patrick Henry)PUBLIC SERVICE REPORTING - Under 100,000 circulationKen Ward Jr., The Charleston GazetteWard will receive $2,500 and the Roy W. Howard Award trophy.Ward won for his series, “Mining the Mountains,” which showed that more than 100 mountaintop removal jobs by coal companies were in violation of law. Judges called Ward’s work “strong and daunting research. The governor appointed a task force that confirmed the stories’ outcomes, and that report said state law and enforcement should be strengthened.” Finalists: Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal (Amie K. Streater, Scott Streater); Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat (Gerald Ensley, James Rosica, Paige St. John, Bill Varian).COMMENTARYR. Bruce Dold, Chicago TribuneDold will receive 2,500 and a trophy.Dold won for columns that judges said inject soul into public policy issues. “He’s a clever writer, tough reporter with a quick wit and attitude. He loves Chicago and it shows.”Finalists: Rheta Grimsley Johnson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; E.J. Montini, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix.PHOTOJOURNALISMPatrick Davison, Denver Rocky Mountain NewsDavison will receive $2,500 and a trophy.Judges said Davison’s portfolio “had a range of work that made us reflect on life. He made us laugh and cry and with each photo we came away with a feeling that we had met the people in the photos and had walked in their shoes.”Finalist: Sean Haffey, San Diego Union-Tribune. COLLEGE CARTOONISTAudra Ann Furuichi, Ka Leo O Hawaii newspaper, University of Hawaii at ManoaFuruichi will receive $2,500 and the Charles M. Schulz Award trophy.Judges said Furuichi’s cartoons were “nicely drawn.” They added, “it’s an engaging college-themed strip. She is a good writer who is making creative use of her current environment in the strip.”Finalists: Brian Fairrington, The State Press, Arizona State University, Tempe; Patrick O’Connor, Daily Kent Stater, Kent State (Ohio) University; David Simpson, The Cooper Point Journal, Evergreen State College, Olympia, Wash.BUSINESS/ECONOMICS REPORTINGRichard Read, The Oregonian, PortlandRead will receive $2,500 and the William Brewster Styles trophy.Read won for his series, “The French Fry Connection,” which explained the Asian economic crisis and its impact on Americans. Judges said: “Creatively seizing on the tale of one boatload of potatoes grown in the Northwest, Read brings life and insight to issues as real to Americans as they are to Asians. He tells a story that everyone can understand.”Finalists: The Philadelphia Inquirer (Karl Stark, Andrea Gerlin, Joshua Goldstein).DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO LITERACY (Two winners) The Baltimore Sun Betty Williford, Elberton, Ga.The newspaper and Williford will each receive $2,500, the Charles E. Scripps trophy, and a $5,000 donation from the Scripps Howard Foundation to the literacy group of their choice.Judges said of The Baltimore Sun: “The Baltimore Sun’s “Reading by 9” project accomplished dramatic improvements in the educational system of the state of Maryland. Its year-long intensive commitment to the cause of literacy has been adopted as a model in other communities as far away as Los Angeles.”Judges said: “Betty Williford’s selfless dedication to fighting illiteracy has benefited thousands, and been an inspiration to all who have come in contact with her. For more than 15 years, she has personally taught people to read, established volunteer programs, and generally raised the level of literacy in her own community, as well as many others.”DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO THE FIRST AMENDMENT A joint entry by seven Indiana Newspapers (The Indianapolis Star/News; South Bend Tribune; The (Fort Wayne) Journal-Gazette; The Evansville Courier; The Times of Northwest Indiana; Terre Haute Tribune Star; The Star Press of Muncie)The newspapers will share $2,500, and each will receive the Edward Willis Scripps Award trophy.The newspapers won for a statewide study of open records law compliance by public officials and agencies. Judges said: “A powerful and unique demonstration of how normally-competing institutions can pool their resources to bring about dramatic change in the context of the First Amendment. These seven newspapers deserve high praise for being pioneers.”Finalist: Joe Stephens, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star; The New York Daily News. JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Large market television/cableNewsChannel 8, Washington, D.C.The station will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.NewsChannel 8 won for a year-long project, “68/98 The Journey,” in which it chronicled 30 years of change in Washington D.C. Judges said “’The Journey’ impressed us with its broad scope, and thoroughly professional execution. It did a consistently masterful job of linking events and people, past and present. A fine piece of television journalism.”Finalists: WRAL-TV, Raleigh, N.C.; KSHB-TV, Kansas City, Mo.JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Small market television/cableKaren Hensel, WANE-TV, Ft. Wayne, Ind.Hensel will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.Hensel won for “Christopher,” a story about grieving parents who donated their young son’s organs to others in need. Judge said: “Remarkable reporting . . . largely told in real time. This is a uniquely sensitive and powerful piece of broadcast journalism.”Finalist: KION-TV, Salinas, Calif.JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Large market radioWTN Radio, Nashville, Tenn.The station will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.WTN won for, “When Violence Hits Home,” a project focusing on victims of drug and alcohol-induced family tragedy. Judges said: “Going beyond its reach on radio, the producers developed special public service announcements using stars of The Grand Ole Opry and partnered with state and community agencies to present a public forum on the issues of violence and abuse. It is an outstanding example of the best use of radio to tell a powerful and important story and have a powerful effect on the community it serves.”Finalist: WMFE-FM, Orlando, Fla.JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Small market radioCaitlyn Kim, WAMC, Northeast Public Radio, Albany, N.Y.Kim will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.Kim won for “The Hudson River Series,” an examination of the Hudson River clean-up in New York. Judges said: “Great use of natural sound and relevant music. Includes a sense of the rich history of the River, how it was polluted and the remarkable clean-up efforts spurred by dedicated individuals and municipalities.”Finalist: KGLT-FM, Bozeman, Mont.Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes.