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News Leaders Association (ASNE-APME) announces finalists for 2019 Award

Tuesday, March 26, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Sellers-Earl
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Columbia, Mo. (March 26, 2019) — Tenacious reporting that sparked a public dialog, reporting partnerships that urged readers to take action, impactful interactive storytelling and courageous reporting from war torn countries are among the entries spotlighted as finalists in the 2019 News Leaders Association Awards.

The NLA Awards honors the best in print, digital, photo and video content in 11 categories. The contest drew 526 entries, from which 49 finalists from news outlets of various sizes and platforms were named. Winners will be announced April 2, 2019.

The finalists cited here exemplify the important and powerful work under way in newsrooms across the country, in defiance of the economic trends we hear so much about and in service of the First Amendment,” said ASNE President Nancy Barnes. “We are proud to recognize so much inspiring work that shines a light on the most important issues of our day around the country and the world.”

“It’s heartening to read the many examples of strong and courageous watchdog journalism among the finalists,” said APME President Angie Muhs, editor of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill. “Reporters and editors at news organizations both large and small are holding government officials and others accountable, and giving a voice to vulnerable people. Many of the finalists’ journalism led to meaningful change.”

This is the first year of the NLA Awards, continuing the 39-year tradition of the ASNE Awards and the 48-year tradition of the APME Awards, among the most prestigious in journalism. Many of the categories are sponsored and come with cash prizes, thanks to a group of editors from the former Knight Ridder Inc., The Dallas Morning News, Advance Publications Inc., the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Seattle Times, the Chicago Tribune, the O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism at Marquette University in Milwaukee and The New York Times.


Judging took place both online and on site at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. The finalists are as follows:


Batten Medal for Courage in Journalism
  • Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan, Paul Pringle, Sarah Parvini and Adam Elmahrek, Los Angeles Times — “A Scandal at USC
  • Maggie Michael, The Associated Press — “Yemen’s Dirty War
  • Hannah Dreier, ProPublica (in partnership with New York magazine, Newsday, This American Life, and New York Times Magazine) — “Trapped in Gangland
Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership



Deborah Howell Award for Writing Excellence
Dori J. Maynard Award for Justice in Journalism
Frank A. Blethen Award for Local Accountability Reporting



Mike Royko Award for Commentary and Column Writing
O’Brien Fellowship Award for Impact in Public Service Journalism
Punch Sulzberger Award for Innovative Storytelling



  • Beth Schwartzapfel and Emily Kassie, The Marshall Project — “Banished
  • Marcel Honore, Honolulu Civil Beat — “Are We Ready?
  • Ryan Murphy, Chris Essig, Darla Cameron, Elbert Wang, Emily Yount, Naema Ahmed, Aliyya Swaby, Alex Samuels, and Brandon Formby, The Texas Tribune — “The Texas Tribune: Customizing Storytelling
Al Neuharth Breaking News Reporting Award
Visual Journalism Award



First Amendment Award

A group of news leaders and journalism professionals around the nation determined finalists and winners. In addition to the ASNE Awards Committee Co-Chairs Brian McGrory of The Boston Globe and George Stanley of Gannett and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and APME Awards Committee Chair Tom Koetting of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, judges include:


Nancy Ancrum, Miami Herald

Mark Baldwin, Rockford Register Star

Nancy Barnes, NPR

Peter Bhatia, Detroit Free Press

Kathy Best, Missoulian

Alfredo Carbajal, Al Día (The Dallas Morning News)

Nicole Carroll, USA TODAY

Paul Cheung, Knight Foundation

Rick Christie, The Palm Beach Post

Michael Days, Philadelphia Media Network

Paula Froke, APME Executive Director

Alison Gerber, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Audrey Cooper, San Francisco Chronicle

Lucy Dalglish, University of Maryland

Manny Garcia, USA TODAY Network

Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, The Washington Post

Bill Greene, The Boston Globe

Katrice Hardy, The Greenville News

David Haynes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Teri Hayt, ASNE Executive Director

Mandy Jenkins

Mark Katches, Tampa Bay Times

Peter Kovacs, The Advocate

Emily Le Coz, GateHouse Media

Karen Magnuson

Colin McMahon, Tribune Publishing

Juli Metzger, Ball State University

Summer Moore, GateHouse Media

Angie Muhs, State Journal-Register

Sarah Nordgren, The Associated Press

Deb Pastner, Star Tribune

Autumn Phillips, The Post and Courier

Mitch Pugh, The Post and Courier

George Rodrigue, The Plain Dealer

Mark Russell, The Memphis Commercial Appeal

Jim Simon, Honolulu Civil Beat

Mizell Stewart, Gannett/USA TODAY Network

Joyce Terhaar

Robyn Tomlin, The News & Observer

Hollis Towns, USA TODAY Network

Anne Vasquez

Sherman Williams, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Mike Wilson, The Dallas Morning News


About the American Society of News Editors


The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism; defends and protects First Amendment rights; and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism work force, opinion journalism, news literacy and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.


About the Associated Press Media Editors


The Associated Press Media Editors advances the principles and practices of responsible journalism. Founded in 1931, it supports and mentors a diverse network of current and emerging newsroom leaders. APME champions the First Amendment and promotes freedom of information and trains journalists to realize their aspirations and thrive in a rapidly changing environment. APME promotes forward-looking ideas that benefit news organizations and the communities they serve. It works closely with The Associated Press, the largest independent media operation in the world.


About the News Leaders Association


The American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors are joining forces to become NLA, the News Leaders Association. This is an exciting time and our new organization will continue to advocate for strong leadership, a diverse and inclusive workforce and defend against challenges to the First Amendment. We ask that you join us and provide your expertise and leadership as we move forward this year.

Associated Press Media Editors

APME is a professional network, a resource for helping editors and broadcasters improve their news coverage and newsroom operations.

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