Robert G. McGruder,diversity,Sharon Rosenhause,Pacific Daily News,Freedom Forum,AP,APME
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Sun-Sentinel managing editor and Pacific Daily News honored with diversity leadership awards
Sun-Sentinel managing editor and Pacific Daily News honored with diversity leadership awards

Oct. 17, 2006

Sharon Rosenhause, managing editor of the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Pacific Daily News on Guam have been named winners of the fifth annual Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.


The awards, which recognize leadership in news content and in recruiting, developing and retaining journalists of color, will be presented at the Associated Press Managing Editors association (APME) conference Oct. 26 in New Orleans.

The honors are given by APME and the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in partnership with the Freedom Forum, which provides the funding. Each honoree receives $2,500 and a sculpture representing leadership.

"This year's winners show a diversity of newsroom approaches," said Charles Overby, Freedom Forum and Diversity Institute chairman and CEO. "They show there is more than one way to promote inclusion in news coverage and in newsroom staffing – and that is what diversity is all about."

At the Sun-Sentinel, the efforts of Sharon Rosenhause, who won in the over-75,000 circulation category, have helped increase the percentage of minority newsroom employees from 19% to more than 29%. Rosenhause, who attends many conventions and events sponsored by minority journalists' organizations, "has created programs in the newsroom ranging from mentoring to specialized training for minorities who have demonstrated an ability to lead and assume additional responsibilities," Earl Maucker, Sun-Sentinel editor, wrote in his nomination.

Rosenhause's contributions have extended well beyond the Sun-Sentinel. She has been chair of ASNE's Diversity Committee and a member of the advisory board of the Race and Diversity Workshop at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. She hosted an ASNE Diversity Leadership Institute and proposed and found funding for a Florida Society of Newspaper Editors' multimedia scholarship for diverse college students.

"Sharon's commitment to diversity and her goals as an editor have always been the same: to develop the best, most diverse staff possible, and to produce the best content possible, always reflecting the diversity of the community she covers," said David Zeeck, president of ASNE and executive editor of The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash. "To Sharon it's never been solely about a diverse staff. To her it's ultimately about diverse content and a commitment to excellence.

"Her passion for diversity, her unfailing good humor and her unwillingness to accept less than the best are reflections of Bob McGruder's legacy: better newsrooms producing better journalism."

The newsroom staff of the Pacific Daily News.

The western Pacific island of Guam is home to the indigenous Chamorros and a melting pot of ethnicities. While diversity has been an opportunity for the Pacific Daily News, recruiting has been a logistical challenge for the newspaper more than 6,000 miles from the U.S. mainland.

The newspaper has faced the challenges with high school and college internship programs and a "grow our own" program. The Pacific Daily News, winner in the under-75,000 circulation category, was honored for its exemplary home-grown recruiting efforts.

"The Pacific Daily News has done a remarkable job of diversifying its newsroom to reflect the community it serves," said Charlotte Hall, editor of the Orlando Sentinel and a 2003 McGruder award winner. "Against the odds, it has grown its own journalists from the island through a comprehensive program starting with high school internships. The result is a paper that understands and better serves its richly complex community."

The newspaper's "grow our own" program is a one-year internship for university seniors or those considering journalism as a second career. Newsroom staffers serve as trainers and mentors.

"For a small newsroom, these programs have been fairly intense and time consuming, but very rewarding," wrote Rindraty Celes Limtiaco, executive editor. A lifestyle editor, an assistant lifestyle editor and a design editor were products of the program.

Other nominees were:

(Over-75,000 circulation category)

• Diversity Committee, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix

• Doug Clancy, assistant managing editor/administration, The Record, Hackensack, N.J., and Herald News, West Paterson, N.J.

• Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle

• The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.

• The News Journal, Wilmington, Del.

• The News-Press, Fort Myers, Fla.

(Under-75,000 circulation category)

• Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore.

• The Daily Times, Farmington, N.M.

• The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wis.

• York (Pa.) Daily Record

The awards are named for a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press and a diversity champion. He died in April 2002.

Judges were: Calvin Stovall, executive editor, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton, N.Y., and Stuart Wilk, consultant and retired managing editor, The Dallas Morning News, representing APME; Zeeck and Hall, representing ASNE; last year's winners Saundra Keyes, professor at the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada-Reno, and Randell Beck, executive editor, Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Aki Soga, business editor, The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, representing UNITY: Journalists of Color; and Kate Kennedy, representing the Freedom Forum, where she is director/partnerships and initiatives.

• • •

The Freedom Forum, based in Arlington, Va., is a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. The foundation focuses on three priorities: the Newseum, the First Amendment and newsroom diversity.

The Freedom Forum funds the operations of the Newseum, an interactive museum of news under construction in Washington, D.C.; the First Amendment Center; and the Diversity Institute. The First Amendment Center and the Diversity Institute are housed in the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. The First Amendment Center also has offices in Washington and the Diversity Institute has offices and programs at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

The Freedom Forum was established in 1991 under the direction of Founder Allen H. Neuharth as successor to a foundation started in 1935 by newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett. The Freedom Forum is not affiliated with Gannett Co. Its work is supported by income from an endowment of diversified assets.

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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