National Press Club

Annapolis Capital Gazette, Baltimore Sun win breaking news award from National Press Club for shooting coverage

July 23, 2019 | By Will Lester | wjlester@aol.com

The Annapolis Capital Gazette and the Baltimore Sun won the breaking news award in the National Press Club journalism contest this year for their courageous coverage of the shooting that killed five people at the Annapolis paper in June of last year.

The Associated Press won the Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence for its coverage of children affected by the Trump administration’s immigration policies. National Public Radio won breaking news broadcast for its coverage of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. Reuters won consumer journalism-newspapers for its coverage of the military’s failure to protect the health of families and children.

The Joan M. Friedenberg Online Journalism Award was won by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, including NBC News Investigative Unit, The Associated Press, Dutch public broadcaster PAVROTROS, and more than 50 media partners for in-depth coverage of injuries and deaths caused by use of medical devices and implants internationally, and resulting injuries and deaths.

The winner of the Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis was Peter Elkind author of “The Billion-Dollar Loophole,” a collaboration between FORTUNE and ProPublica. A deep investigative look at a special tax deduction that was supposed to help the environment, but was a money-making investment. The winner of the Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award for print was Donovan Slack of USA Today for her coverage of the Veterans Administration practice of invasive and fatal experiments on dogs.

The winners will be recognized at an awards dinner at the end of the summer at the Club. Details on the timing of the dinner to be announced.

Winners List:

Breaking News - Print: The Annapolis Capital Gazette and The Baltimore Sun won breaking news-print for staff coverage of the shooting at the Annapolis newspaper that killed five employees.

Breaking News - Broadcast: National Public Radio for the coverage on its “All Things Considered” of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that killed 11 people.

Consumer Journalism - newspapers: A Reuters investigative series, "Ambush at Home," for its exposure of structural failure within the U.S military to protect families and children. The findings of this story revealed a public health crisis as families were silenced into living in unbearable and unsafe conditions.

Consumer Journalism - periodicals: Bloomberg reporters uncovered a scheme by some on Wall Street to use an esoteric legal tool to exploit small businesses across the country and steal their money, most often with no legal recourse.

Consumer Journalism - broadcast: CBS Sunday Morning for its explanatory story that explored how powerful hearing aid manufacturers are fighting competition from over-the-counter hearing aids that are often effective and less expensive. The sales were recently authorized by a new law.

Washington Regional Reporting: Jerry Zremski of the Buffalo News for a variety of good stories including reporting that led to an indictment of a sitting congressman for securities fraud.

Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence - print: Martha Mendoza, Garance Burke and Christopher Sherman of The Associated Press for their impactful reporting on children affected by the Trump Administration’s immigration policies.

Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism - print: Paul Farhi’s dogged work covering the media was on display in his contest entry. The judges note that Farhi is continuously on the prowl for issues that can undermine press credibility in a challenging media environment.

Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism - Broadcast: WGBH’s Beat the Press wins this year’s Rowse broadcast award based on its persistent scrutiny of local media in Boston.

Newsletter Journalism: E&E News, in a fascinating three-part series by Nathaniel Gronewold, reported on the quickly developing scramble for cobalt and other rare earth minerals needed to meet electric vehicle and other demands by mining ore on ocean seabeds.

Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award - print: In her coverage of the Veterans Administration, USA Today reporter Donovan Slack discovered that the agency reversed course in 2018 and resumed conducting invasive and fatal experiments on dogs. Her reporting triggered an investigation by the VA inspector general which is ongoing.

Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award-broadcast: FOX31 KDVR launched a multi-part hidden camera investigation that exposed horrific conditions inside SeaQuest, a new Colorado mall-based exotic petting zoo and aquarium with locations across the country. The reporting found filthy tanks, unsanitary and unsafe conditions for birds and other animals, and multiple violations of state regulations.

Joan M. Friedenberg Online Journalism Award: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the NBC News Investigative Unit, The Associated Press and more than 50 media partners looked at the use of medical devices and implants and thousands of injuries and deaths related to their use.

Sandy Hume Award for Excellence in Political Journalism: Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, for his impactful stories on the Veterans Administration that reflect the specific goals of the Hume award. His effective use of FOIA and databases is complemented by his great analysis and use of patient anecdotes.

Angele Gingras Humor Writing: Justin Duckham and Garth von Ahnen for their graphic art produced for Mediaite and the Washington Examiner used to showcase sharp political humor.

Joseph D. Ryle Award for Excellence in Writing on the Problems of Geriatrics: Project by USA Today and The Boston Globe found that the Veterans Administration had a secret list of its worst performing hospitals. Patients received bad treatments, or lack of treatments, often leading to serious and sometimes fatal ailments such as sepsis.

Michael A. Dornheim Award: Mark Harris, a freelance investigative reporter whose research, investigative reporting and writing of the aerospace industry, particularly in the satellite sector, is exemplary and superbly documented and researched, according to the judges.

Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis: Peter Elkind for his story “The Billion Dollar Loophole” _ a collaboration between Fortune magazine and ProPublica that was a deep investigative look at a special tax deduction that was supposed to help the environment ended up with the syndication of conservation easements.

News Photo Award: Dorothy Mills Gregg of Medill News Service for her photo of an arrest at the protests about nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the Supreme Court that captured the drama and the raw emotion that fueled the protests.

Honorable Mention List:

Breaking News - print: The Wall Street Journal for its coverage of a fatal Southwest Airlines flight, from explaining the cause of the accident to providing great detail as it unfolded.

Consumer Journalism - newspapers: The Kaiser Health News story, "Rogue Herpes Vaccine," for its deep dive into the ethics behind and failure of a university professor's vaccine trial to cure Herpes. The series of stories revealed the university's complete lack of oversight and accountability for administering the vaccine, which left many people feeling worse than before they received the developmental vaccine.

Consumer Journalism - periodicals: ProPublica for “Health Care Hustle, which featured strong reporting and some surprising finds, like health insurers running a clever scheme that grossly inflates health care costs and patient bills.

Washington Regional Reporting: Sarah Wire for the Los Angeles Times brought a fresh eye to regional reporting with original stories including one that followed Southern California lawmakers back home for a weekend to tell readers about what it’s like to commute each week cross-continent.

Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence - print: Danielle Mackey and Anna-Catherine Brigida for their work published in World Politics Review that reveals Washington complicity in the grisly tactics often employed by Salvadorian authorities in their “iron fist” version of zero-tolerance.

Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award - print: Rachel Bale’s reporting for the National Geographic’s Wildlife Watch project shines a light on commercial-grade wildlife crime and exploitation that is worth an estimated $20 billion or more a year and is the primary threat to the survival of countless species.

Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award-broadcast: An investigation with continuing coverage by reporter Scott Taylor and WJLA ABC 7 led to the shutdown of a United States Department of Agriculture research project that killed more than 2,900 healthy kittens since 1982.

Joan M. Friedenberg Online Journalism Award: NJ Advance Media for “The Force Report," a detailed and careful look at the controversial question of police force and racial disparity.

Sandy Hume Award for Excellence in Political Journalism: Ashley Balcerzak, Center for Public Integrity, for perceptive stories on a hurricane’s impact and Super PACs.

Angele Gingras Humor Writing: Jason Gay, in his Wall Street Journal columns, artfully found humor in everyday life events and presented it in a way that people will find highly relatable.

Joseph D. Ryle Award for Excellence in Writing on the Problems of Geriatrics: Consumers' Checkbook collaborated with the Arlington County, Va., Emergency Communications Center to test many of these devices that alert emergency response teams and found the response time is often dangerously slow, sometimes as long as three minutes before the initial call on the device goes to the 911 emergency system.

Michael A. Dornheim Award: John Donnelly of CQ Roll Call, for his coverage of defense
that is chock-full of extensive research based on investigative reporting on topics of utmost importance to the defense of the U.S.