Coverage of the grand jury's decision not to indict a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown won honors for deadline reporting in this year's Associated Press Media Editors awards for journalism excellence by AP staffers.
An investigation of Duke Energy, the nation's largest electricity company, after a coal ash spill in North Carolina was honored in the enterprise category, and a profile of a drug-addicted prisoner who became a hospice nurse won the feature writing award.
Jake Pearson of the New York City bureau won two awards for his investigation of the deaths of prisoners at Rikers Island, a 10-jail complex in New York's East River.
"The AP staff did excellent work producing enterprising, in-depth stories and hundreds of compelling photos in the past year, making it difficult to pick only a few to honor," said APME President Alan D. Miller, managing editor of The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. "Those receiving APME awards are exceptionally strong and represent some of the best of journalism in America — to the benefit of readers around the world."
Winners announced in APME Journalism Excellence Awards
The Miami Herald, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today were among the news organizations that won top honors in the annual Associated Press Media Editors' Journalism Excellence Awards.
APME also announced that the Seattle Times, Alabama Media Group, the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune and Vermont Public Radio were winners in a new contest category, the Community Engagement Award, which drew a large number of entries.
"Challenges in our industry clearly have not diminished the quality of investigative, watchdog reporting in the United States," said Alan D. Miller, president of APME and managing editor/news for The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. "It's inspiring to read through the many entries in this year's contest and see not only great journalism but also the responses to it."
"These stories, whether in print or online, have so affected readers that they have taken action or pressed public officials to take action to right wrongs and fix problems that have affected millions of people," Miller said. "The world is a better place because of the excellent work done by these journalists."
When it comes to access to records, meetings and, sometimes courts, it seems to have become increasingly challenging to win access on behalf of the public.
APME is looking for ways to join forces with you and perhaps other journalism organizations to ensure open access to public information and meetings. And not so much because it would make our jobs easier, but because the public needs a champion to preserve the rights of all Americans to keep a close eye on our government.
That might mean moving out of our comfort zones and doing more than grousing about it - or even more than writing stories to publicly shame those who say "no." We might need to pick a key target and file a lawsuit that will get everyone's attention. We might need to work as or hire lobbyists to push for law changes. Perhaps we could create an industry toolkit to help front-line reporters and editors fight the fight. Are there other ways?
To help frame the conversation going forward, we'd really like to know details about a few key points on that topic. So if you would, please take a few minutes to fill out this online survey.
We're looking for survey responses by Friday, June 5, ahead of an APME board meeting.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Alan D. Miller
The Columbus Dispatch
APME Sounding Board chairman
3-D: Digital, Diversity, Disruption
The agenda is taking shape for the ASNE-APME conference of the nation's top editors Oct. 16-18 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The Associated Press Photo Managers is also a conference partner.
The theme for the Silicon Valley conference is 3-D: Digital, Diversity, Disruption.
The conference will open with an evening reception Friday, Oct. 16, at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center. Join your colleagues under beautiful October skies for a taste of California wine and music and an intimate conversation with David Kelley. A creator of the Apple mouse and founder of the groundbreaking d.school at Stanford, Kelley will share his thoughts on how each of us can find joy in our creative endeavors.