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Scripps Howard Foundation Announces National Journalism Award Winners

CINCINNATI, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Scripps Howard Foundation today announced the winners of its National Journalism Awards.

Four newspapers, a cable television network, a radio network, a radio news service, a Web news site and 10 individuals are being recognized for excellence in categories including, editorial writing, human interest writing, environmental and public service reporting, business/economics reporting, commentary, photojournalism, electronic journalism and college cartooning. Two new categories -- Web reporting and editorial cartooning -- were added to the competition this year.

Two of the awards recognize distinguished service to literacy and a third recognizes distinguished service to the First Amendment.

Cash awards totaling $55,000 will be presented April 14 during a banquet at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

"The winners of this year's National Journalism Awards are an inspiration to all of us who aspire to the highest possible standards of our profession," said Judith G. Clabes, president and chief executive officer of the Scripps Howard Foundation. "The journalists honored by these awards are making a profound impact on the world in which they live."

William R. Burleigh, chairman and chief executive officer of The E.W. Scripps Company, praised the winners of the 1999 competition.

"The National Journalism Awards give us the opportunity each year to recognize the best and the brightest journalists working in America today, and this year's winners are certainly no exception," Burleigh said. "Knowing that there are reporters and editors of such high caliber gives me great confidence in journalism's future."

The winners are:

EDITORIAL WRITING

John C. Bersia, The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. Bersia will receive $2,500 and the Walker Stone Award trophy.

Bersia won for a series of editorials, "Fleeced in Florida," advocating regulatory reform of cash-advance businesses. Judges said: "John Bersia gave voice to the voiceless in editorials on how some money lenders are picking the already thin pockets of mostly poor people. Bersia's calls for reforms and the energy and persistence with which he casts his arguments are models for the use of editorial page muscle." Finalists: Antero Pietila, The Baltimore Sun; Linda Valdez, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix; William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal.

COMMENTARY

Susan Anne Nielsen, The Seattle Times. Nielsen will receive $2,500 and a trophy.

Nielsen won for a selection of her weekly columns. Judge said: "Impressive writing, refreshing outlook, wide range of topics and lots of insight. Lots of thought went into these pieces, and she can make you laugh out loud." Finalists: Holman W. Jenkins Jr., The Wall Street Journal; Derrick Z. Jackson, The Boston Globe.

HUMAN INTEREST WRITING

Helen O'Neill, Associated Press, New York. O'Neill will receive $2,500 and the Ernie Pyle Award trophy.

O'Neill won for a selection of feature stories. Judges said: "Helen O'Neill writes with an attention to detail that makes you feel you are living her stories. Her reporting is precise and her writing is compelling. She is truly the reader's eyes, ears and heart." Finalists: David Finkel, The Washington Post; Anne Hull, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times

WEB REPORTING

APBnews.com, New York. ABPnews.com will receive $2,500 and a trophy.

APBnews.com won for an in-depth analysis of crime risk on U.S. college and university campuses. Judges said: "This entry exemplifies the way exceptional computer-assisted reporting and Web technologies can mesh into an excellent, one-of-a-kind report." Finalists: APBnews.com, New York; The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Arlington, Va.

ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING - Over 100,000 circulation

Sam Roe, Toledo (Ohio) Blade. Roe will receive $2,500 and the Edward J. Meeman Award trophy.

Roe won for a six-part series that exposed how the government-sanctioned use of beryllium caused the injury and death of dozens of workers. Judges said: "The Blade's series was remarkable for the depth of reporting and concise writing by reporter Sam Roe. It was a compelling expose. . ." Finalists: Joby Warrick, The Washington Post; Brent Walth and Alex Pulaski, The Oregonian, Portland.

ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING - Under 100,000 circulation

Mike Dunne, Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate. Dunne will receive $2,500 and the Edward J. Meeman Award trophy.

Dunne won for a series of stories that illustrated flaws in the government's attempts to save Louisiana wetlands. Judges said: "In the finest tradition of journalism, (Dunne) prompted environmental officials to make some changes in the way they were going about protecting the state's precious coastline. This is an excellent example of how shining light on a problem can bring about positive change." Finalists: Kevin Carmody, Daily Southtown, Tinley Park, Ill.; Jeff Alexander, The Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle.

EDITORIAL CARTOONING

Ed Stein, Denver Rocky Mountain News. Stein will receive $2,500 and a trophy.

Stein won for a selection of editorial cartoons commenting on the shootings at Columbine High School. Judges said: "Ed Stein's sensitive, heartfelt cartoons. . .are as powerful and moving as any image or story from that tragedy." Finalist: Russ Wallace, The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO LITERACY (Two winners)

Sonia Gutierrez, Carlos Rosario International Career Center, Washington, D.C., and the Naples (Fla.) Daily News. Gutierrez and the newspaper will each 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.

Guiterrez won for her work with adult immigrant students. Judges said: "Sonia Guiterrez has been more than a teacher to the 50,000 adult immigrant students who have been served by the Carlos Rosario International Career Center and Public Charter School. She has been their friend, their advocate, their organizer, their counselor and their mother."

The Naples Daily News won for its "Florida Reads" program, a solution-oriented approach to literacy that is being used statewide. Judges said: "This entry exemplifies the sweeping impact a newspaper can have to meet a community challenge and affect change."

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO THE FIRST AMENDMENT

The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel. The newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Edward Willis Scripps Award trophy.

The News-Sentinel won for its two-and-a-half-year battle to ensure public access to taxpayer-funded criminal proceedings. Judges said: "It is the classic and aggressive practice of journalism that makes this entry extraordinary. As a result of the newspaper's courage, the Tennessee legislature broadened the state's open records laws." Finalist: New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, Albuquerque, N.M.

PHOTOJOURNALISM

George Kochaniec Jr., Denver Rocky Mountain News. Kochaniec will receive $2,500 and a trophy.

Kochaniec won for his coverage of the Columbine High School shootings and other selected entries. Judges said: "In a sequence of jolting photographs, he conveyed the anguish of the worst school shooting in U.S. history. The power and range of his photography make him a worthy winner of the photojournalism prize for 1999." Finalist: Dean J. Koepfler, The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.

BUSINESS/ECONOMICS REPORTING

Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian, Portland. Hallman will receive $2,500 and the William Brewster Styles Award trophy.

Hallman won for his work, "The Player," explaining the business of mortgaged-backed securities. Judges said. "The Player' is real time, right on top of the volatility of today's overheated economy and the young people who participate in it." Finalist: Jay Hancock, The Baltimore Sun.

JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Small Market Radio

High Plains News Service, Billings, Mont. The news service will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.

High Plains News Service won for its reporting on the Sioux Indian community's reaction to an industrial-sized hog farm that proposed setting set up operations on the reservation. Judges said: "This well-reported investigative piece makes a remote part of Montana come alive. A balanced and human report on an often marginalized sub-culture." Finalist: KOSU-FM, Stillwater, Okla.

JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Large Market Radio

Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota Public Radio will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.

Minnesota Public Radio won for its examination of the impact of the AIDS virus on the young. Judges said: "This documentary has given us new insight into the emotional and sociological stresses associated with growing up HIV-positive. We heartily commend this effort."

JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Small Market TV/Cable

No winner

JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE IN ELECTRONIC MEDIA - Large Market TV/Cable

New England Cable News, Newton, Mass. New England Cable News will receive $2,500 and the Jack R. Howard Award trophy.

New England Cable News won for its documentary on a factory closing in Maine after 122 years. Judges said: "The story developed characters the viewer care about and came to know. This documentary truly put a face and place on the global economy." Finalist: NBC News, New York

COLLEGE CARTOONING

Charles M. Schulz Award

Ryan Pagelow, Ohio University, The Post. Pagelow will receive $2,500 and the Charles M. Schulz Award trophy.

Pagelow won for a collection of his work. Finalists: Michael Chambers, University of Maryland at College Park, The Diamondback; Patrick O'Connor, Kent State University, Daily Kent Stater; and Charlie Zimkus, Miami University, The Miami Student

PUBLIC SERVICE REPORTING - Over 100,000 circulation

Chicago Tribune (Ken Armstrong, Maurice Possley, Steve Mills.) The newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Roy W. Howard Award trophy.

The Chicago Tribune won for an investigative series on the justice system, focusing on capital cases. Judges said: "(The Chicago Tribune's reporters) exposed the legal system to scrutiny, the likes of which it had never experienced, especially in capital cases. In so doing, the Tribune performed a profound service for its state and the nation." Finalists: Jim Haner, The Baltimore Sun; Newsday, Melville, N.Y.

PUBLIC SERVICE REPORTING - Under 100,000 circulation

Colorado Daily, Boulder, Colo. The newspaper will receive $2,500 and the Roy W. Howard Award trophy.

Colorado Daily won for its scrutiny of a publicly funded project at the University of Colorado. Judges said: "The effort embodies what public service by a newspaper is and what persistence it often requires." Finalist: The Daily Reflector, Greenville, N.C.

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.

SOURCE The E.W. Scripps Company

CONTACT: Patty Cottingham of Scripps Howard Foundation, 513-977-3847, or email, cottingham@scripps.com/