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Scripps Howard Foundation winners: staffers from eight newspapers, college cartoonist win annual awards for excellence in journalism.

Scripps Howard Foundation winners

Staffers from eight newspapers, college cartoonist win annual awards for excellence in journalism

The Scripps Howard Foundation recently awarded more than $33,500 in cash prizes for excellence in print and broadcast journalism. Among the winners were staff members from eight newspapers, and a college cartoonist.

The awards were presented at the annual banquet in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 3. The winners were being honored for their work in 13 categories of print and broadcast journalism, ranging from First Amendment issues and human-interest writing to public service.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times won $2,500 for service to the First Amendment. In November 1990, reporter Libby Averyt was ordered to testify about statements a murder defendant had made to her about his alleged role in a 1983 slaying. Averyt consistently refused to answer questions about unpublished information, and was ordered to jail on contempt charges. Averyt was released after spending 48 hours in an isolation cell. Her release came after a meeting of the Caller-Times attorney with authorities in which he said she would not change her mind about answering questions. A district judge then dismissed the contempt-of-court order against her.

The other finalist in this category was the Boulder Colorado Daily. The judges were William Ahearn, vice president and executive editor, the Associated Press; Burl Osborne, editor and president, the Dallas Morning News and president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors; and Lloyd G. Schermer, chairman and chief executive officer, Lee Enterprises Inc. and chairman, American Newspaper Publishers Association.

Elizabeth Leland of the Charlotte (W.V.) Observer won $2,500 for human-interest writing. The judges said that "not one of the stories in Ms. Leland's portfolio was ordinary, and her life story of Joe Hill unanimously impressed the judges as the single best story among the 1,000-plus stories in the 160 entries. Each of her stories leaves readers with a sense of place, a feel for the human subject, and gratitude for the experience."

Finalists in this category were Sheila Toomey, Anchorage Daily News, and Al Martinez, Los Angeles Times. The judges were Alan Horton, editor, Naples (Fla.) Daily News; Albert Johnson, executive editor, Post-Tribune, Gary, Ind.; and Russell Powell, editor, the Daily Independent, Ashland, Ky.

Lanny Keller of the Shreveport (La.) Journal won $2,000 for editorial writing.

"When his community and his state were threatened by the political exploitation of racial fears and antagonisms, Lanny Keller's editorials beat back the villians with courage, strength and integrity. His powerful pieces on the David Duke campaign and his lucid defenses of our constitutional rights are editorial writing at its finest and most effective," said the judges.

Finalists for editorial writing were Linda Valdez, the Tucson Arizona Daily Star; Ken Knox, Chicago Tribune; and Samuel Francis, the Washington Times.

The editorial writing judges were Randall C. Hatch, editor and publisher, the Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah; Harvey C. Jacobs, editor, the Indianapolis News; and Lois Wille, editor of editorial page, Chicago Tribune.

The Orlando Sentinel won $2,000 for environmental reporting, over-100,000 circulation, recognizing the work of special projects editor, John Huff, and reporters Jeff Brazil, Sean Holton, Cindy Schreuder and Craig Dezern, as well as photographers Red Huber, George Remaine and John Raoux.

The judges cited articles of excellence that covered the topics of the endangered manatee, the hard life of dolphins in captivity, and the pollutants and runoff that threaten the Everglades.

Finalists were the Seattle Times, Newsday, N.Y., and the Sacramento Bee.

For environmental reporting, under-100,000 circulation, the winner of $2,000 was the Alabama Journal. The judges called the reporting done by a staff of six "an outstanding effort." The series described the growing damage to Alabama's rivers, the cozy relationship between state agencies and industrial polluters, and showed how the state is moving slowly to post warnings about eating fish that carry dangerous toxins. The newspaper also showed courage in doing the article even though the public was ambivalent and state regulators were antagonistic, judges said.

Finalists for under-100,000 circulation were the Bremerton (Wash.) Sun, Idaho Falls Post Register, and the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Environmental reporting judges for both categories were Ed Petykiewicz, editor, the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News; Peter Prichard, editor, USA Today; and Richard K. Weil, asst. managing editor, St. Louis Dispatch.

For public service reporting, over-100,000 circulation, the Boston Globe won $2,500 honoring the work of the Spotlight team: editor Gerard O'Neill, reporters Dick Lehr, John Aloysius Farrell and Patricia Wen, photographer John Tlumacki and researcher Ardys J. Kozbial.

The Spotlight team's five-part series uncovered laxity and favoritism in the Massachusetts judiciary, which elicited a huge public outcry.

Finalists were Heidi Evans, New York Daily News; Joe Rigert and Maura Lerner, Minneapolis (Minn.) Star Tribune; and the Sacramento Bee.

The Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen won $2,500 for public service reporting, under-100,000 circulation.

Tom Shields' series "Grand Canyon: Deadly Skies" increased the public's awareness of the dismal air safety record at the Grand Canyon. He found that the death toll at the Grand Canyon was much higher than anyone had reported previously, and revealed that canyon airspace often contained a deadly mix of military, private and commercial aircraft. Few park visitors had been aware of the risk.

Finalists were Margarette Downey, Poughkeepsie Journal; Alan Gustafson, Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore.; and Marilyn Mitchel, Alisa Stingley and Susan Traylor, The Times, Shreveport, La.

Judges for both public service categories were William I. Winter, president and director, American Press Institute, Reston, Va.; Gregory Favre, executive editor, the Sacramento Bee; and Bennie Ivory, managing editor, Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.

The $2,500 prize for service in support of literacy was given to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, which will designate a literacy program in its community to receive a $5,000 grant from the foundation. The paper dedicated multiple resources to battle its community's illiteracy problem, including a financial commitment, a commitment of manpower, of news and advertising space as well as other resources. The judges said their program included a host of ideas every newspaper should steal.

The other finalist was the Dominion Post of Morgantown, W. Va. Judges were Scott McGehee, vice president and general manager of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald; Byron White, editorial page editor, Cincinnati Post; and David Dick, director, School of Journalism, University of Kentucky.

The college cartoonist to win the $2,000 award was Kerry Soper, the Utah Statesman at Utah State University.

The three finalists were Michael John Moreu, University of Georgia; Ted Rall, Columbia University, New York; and Drew Martin, University of California-Santa Barbara.

Judges were Charles Schulz, creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip; Roy Paul Nelson, professor of journalism, University of Oregon; Marty Claus, managing editor-features/business, Detroit Free Press.
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Publication:Editor & Publisher
Date:Apr 13, 1991
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