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2010 McGruder Award Winners Announced

Friday, October 15, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Sellers-Earl
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The Associated Press Managing Editors announced Friday that Randy Lovely, editor and vice president of The Arizona Republic, and Bill Church, executive editor of the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., both Gannett news executives, are winners of the 2010 Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.

The awards are given annually to individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, former managing editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, a graduate of Kent State University and relentless diversity champion. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002.

This year, the ninth annual awards are being sponsored by the Free Press, The Plain Dealer, Kent State and the Freedom Forum.

The winners will be officially recognized at the annual APME conference, Oct. 20-22 at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla. The honorees will each receive $2,500 and a leadership trophy.

Lovely and Church were honored for their longstanding commitment to diversity in newspaper content and in newsroom recruiting.

"Both of our winners truly reflect what Bob McGruder stood for, an unwavering stance on behalf of diversity in all its forms,” said Otis Sanford, editor of opinion and editorials for The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal and the 2010 APME president. "The judges were impressed particularly with how others in their newsrooms respected their leadership on diversity.”

The nomination letter for Lovely said the Arizona Republic editor has had an outstanding year making diversity a priority. "This year, The Republic has provided exemplary community leadership on immigration issues and Arizona’s tough new immigration law. Lovely pushed for thoughtful, balanced coverage on this issue from both the news and editorial angles,” the letter said. In the area of recruitment, the letter said, "throughout his career, Lovely has made it a priority to recruit diverse journalists in furthering diversity.”

Lovely, an APME board member, became executive editor and vice president for news at The Republic in February 2008. He had been the newspaper’s executive editor since 2005.

Lovely previously worked at the Fort Myers, Fla., News-Press, The (Shreveport, La.) Times and The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., before joining the Republic as managing editor in 2002.

Church’s nominating letter said, "It is understood that newspapers in general have struggled to reset themselves in this unsettled climate. The economy and changing digital audience have forced newsrooms to downsize and rethink their operations.Yet, despite these challenges, Bill has maintained a Braveheart-like pursuit of ensuring our staff is diverse, developing our talented journalists of colors and being vigilant in growing the Statesman Journal’s relevance for readers of all backgrounds.”

Church became executive editor of the Statesman Journal in June 2006 after serving in the same role at the Star-Gazette at Elmira, N.Y. Prior to working in Elmira, he was managing editor of the Palladium-Item at Richmond, Ind.

Church started his career in 1981 as sports editor and managing editor of Review News Co., in Oklahoma City. He joined Gannett in 1990 as local news coordinator of the Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald. He was named managing editor of the Battle Creek (Mich.) Enquirer in 1992 and managing editor at Richmond in 1998.

The 2010 judges for the McGruder awards were Pam Johnson, executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri and a former APME president; Wanda Lloyd, executive editor of the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser and a 2007 McGruder award winner; Jeff Fruit, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State; and Otis Sanford, APME president.

The 2009 McGruder award winners were Troy Turner, editor of The Daily Times in Farmington, N.M., and Karen Magnuson, editor of the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle and also a former APME president.

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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