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Yakima, Wenatchee, Atlanta, Winston-Salem newspapers give international perspective
Yakima, Wenatchee, Atlanta, Winston-Salem newspapers give international perspective

Aug. 1, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) — Two Northwest community newspapers' reports on how China's fast-emerging apple industry is impacting U.S. growers have won the Associated Press Managing Editors association's International Perspective Awards.

2005 winners of the APME International Perspective Award.

The Yakima Herald-Republic and The Wenatchee World won the fourth annual award for the under-40,000 daily circulation category for "The China Challenge," the association of newspaper and online editors announced Monday.

In the above-100,000 circulation category, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution won for revealing the rapid growth of a trade in mail-order brides from Russia and the secret of domestic violence often hidden within. It was the newspaper's second International Perspective Award.

The Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal won in the 40,000-100,000 daily circulation category for an investigation into failures of the democracy-building program in Iraq, told from the point of view of a North Carolina company.

The awards, recognizing newspapers "for outstanding coverage of international news for local readers," will be presented during the APME's annual conference Oct. 26-29 in San Jose, Calif. The winners were selected from among 47 entries.

The Herald-Republic and the World, separately owned and located 100 miles apart in central Washington, where more than half of the U.S. apple crop is grown, teamed together to report on the emerging competition from Chinese growers. Herald-Republic editor Craig Troianello and Wenatchee World photographer Don Seabrook spent 17 days traveling from the ports of Hong Kong and urban markets of Guangzhou to the farms of rural Shandone Province.

The four-day series documented a more than 1,000 percent increase in Chinese apple exports, which in recent years have taken several smaller markets from Washington. Chinese apple exports surpassed those of the United States for the first time last year, with China looking to expand even more over the next four years. The judges called the series "oustanding, sophisticated."

The Journal-Constitution uncovered the dark side of the Russian mail-order bride business while looking into a law officer's shooting of a man at his home in a quiet suburb of Atlanta. The man had arranged an international marriage through an Internet service but became entangled in abuse allegations and claims of stalking.

Told through the life of the man's former bride, the stories, "From Russia, for Love," "did an exceptional job of calling attention to a hidden social issue and an unregulated and burgeoning industry," the judges said.

In its investigation, the Winston-Salem newspaper interviewed workers and reviewed documents and e-mails of a local contractor at the heart of plans to build a new Iraq, as well as communications from the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority. The newspaper's series, "The Price of Democracy," found that beyond the sheer violence in Iraq, bureaucracy and changing instructions from Washington "not only crippled the democracy-building efforts, but compromised the safety of civliams working there."

The judges also honored these finalists:

Over 100,000 circulation

• The Sacramento Bee, for a look at a last wave of Hmong refugees stuck in Thailand.

• The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., for looking behind the scenes at the deaths of four private security contractors whose bodies were shown hanging from a bridge in highly publicized photos from Iraq.

• The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, for stories looking at how lives in Wisconsin intersect with the rest of the world.

• The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, for a series on Somali Bantu refugees relocating in Ohio.

40,000-100,000 circulation

• The Roanoke (Va.) Times, for a series on how African refugees are being welcomed, or not, in southwestern Virginia.

• The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va., for reporting on the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan and how local individuals and organizations are responding.

• The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo., for reporting how outsourcing technology to India has had a major impact on the local economy.

The judges were George Stanley, managing editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Tony Barbieri, adjunct professor of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland; Carol Nunnelley, projects director, Associated Press Managing Editors Association; and Nicolas Tatro, deputy international editor, The Associated Press. Judges refrained from discussing or voting on entries from their newspapers.

APME is an organization of editors, managing editors and online editors of the more than 1,700 newspapers served by the AP in the United States and Canadian Press in Canada.

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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