ASNE Awards 2010

2010 Awards: ASNE announces journalism contest award winners
Posted 2/17/2010 11:46:00 AM

RESTON, Va. — The American Society of News Editors has selected the winners of its annual awards for distinguished writing and photography.

This year's contest attracted 302 entries from news organizations throughout the United States, which represents a slight decline from the 307 entries received in 2009.

"The ASNE competition is always inspirational, showcasing the best in public service journalism, storytelling and community photojournalism," said Charlotte H. Hall, senior vice president/editor of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, and chair of this year's ASNE Awards Board. "It also affirms the great work being done in American newsrooms, despite tough times. The judges were impressed by the range and quality of the entries, from investigations that uncovered significant wrongdoing to incisive commentary that illumined important issues."

The winners
Jesse Laventhol Prize for Deadline News Reporting

The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J., for capturing the drama, strangeness and import of one of New Jersey's largest corruption scandals with impressive reporting muscle and a captivating brand of storytelling. Along with a lively account of the arrest of 44 people, the staff delivered absorbing portraits of the key informant and the Syrian Jewish community that had become the sudden subject of unwanted attention.

Jesse Laventhol Prize for Online Storytelling
The Boston Globe, for a multitiered and multimedia presentation on the life and career of Senator Ted Kennedy. Through the use of compelling videos, a detailed timeline, an amazing array of photographs and the often-poetic voices of those who knew him best, the Globe painted an engaging portrait of this storied Massachusetts senator, celebrating his successes and chronicling his crises.

Batten Medal
Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, for a body of work in which the courageous lives of ordinary people take on a universal importance, illuminated by the compassion of a writer whose compelling and stylish writing is matched by her humanity.

Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary/Column Writing
Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times, for his provocative, erudite, courageous commentary, especially those columns that are the foundation of his ongoing crusade against the mistreatment of women and girls across the globe.

Community Service Photojournalism Award
Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post. For two years, Walker chronicled the difficult transition of an Army recruit from the free-form life of a teenager to the rigorous discipline of a soldier. From induction day farewells, fear showing in the new private’s eyes, to his first night patrol in Iraq in full battle dress, Walker’s photos provide rare insight into the young people who fight our wars.

Freedom Forum/ASNE Award for Distinguished Writing on Diversity
Nina Bernstein, The New York Times, for thorough and tenacious reporting and compelling storytelling on the mistreatment of immigrants in federal custody, particularly her stories that revealed unreported deaths and efforts by officials to hide them from the public.

Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing
David Barham of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, for elegant editorials on subjects as wide-ranging as the shame of a rundown historic cemetery to a newspaper’s dubious decision to stop endorsing political candidates. Many of his pieces have a powerful sense of his community; others are downright funny; all are well reasoned and beautifully written.

Distinguished Writing Award for Local Accountability Reporting
Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, Philadelphia Daily News, for their series about a rogue squad of Philadelphia narcotics cops that systematically looted mom and pop stores under the guise of busting them for selling drug paraphernalia. The series prompted an FBI investigation, new police policies and a number of civil rights lawsuits. Direct, descriptive writing. Journalism that made a difference in the community.

Distinguished Writing Award for Nondeadline Writing
David S. Rohde, The New York Times, for his gripping account of being kidnapped and detained by the Taliban for more than seven months, before his daring escape in one of the most dangerous spots in the world. In addition to his harrowing and descriptive personal narrative, Rohde provided an authoritative account of a "Taliban mini-state" in the tribal areas of Pakistan, and described in up-close detail an anti-West movement even more extreme than expected.

The winners of the Jesse Laventhol prizes will receive $10,000; all of the other winners will receive $2,500 prizes. The awards will be presented during this year's ASNE convention, which will be held April 11-14 in Washington, D.C.

The finalists

Jesse Laventhol Prize for Deadline News Reporting
  • Staff, The Boston Globe
  • Staff, The New York Times
  • Lena Sun and Maria Glod, The Washington Post

Jesse Laventhol Prize for Online Storytelling
Batten Medal
  • Christopher J. Chivers, The New York Times
  • Steve Duin, The Oregonian, Portland

Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary/Column Writing
  • Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Mike Thomas, Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel

Community Service Photojournalism
  • Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Sonya Hebert, The Dallas Morning News

Freedom Forum/ASNE Award for Outstanding Writing on Diversity
  • Maria Sacchetti, The Boston Globe

Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing
  • George Hager, USA TODAY, McLean, Va.
  • Tim Nickens, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times

Distinguished Writing Award for Local Accountability Reporting

  • Mark Puente, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
  • Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Distinguished Writing Award for Nondeadline Writing

  • Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Neil Swidey, The Boston Globe