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Troy Turner, Karen Magnuson win diversity leadership awards
Troy Turner, Karen Magnuson win diversity leadership awards

Posted Oct. 23, 2009

Troy Turner

Karen Magnuson

Troy Turner, editor of The Daily Times in Farmington, N.M., and Karen Magnuson, editor of the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., have been named winners of the eighth annual Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.

The two will be honored as champions of newsroom diversity at the Associated Press Managing Editors annual training conference Oct. 30 in St. Louis.

The awards are given by the Freedom Forum, which administers the program, in partnership with APME and the American Society of News Editors. Each honoree receives $2,500 and a sculpture. Selections are made by a committee, which includes the previous year's recipients and representatives of APME, ASNE and UNITY: Journalists of Color.

The awards go to individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press and relentless diversity advocate who died in April 2002. Judges singled out Turner and Magnuson for their leadership, intensity and consistency in advancing diversity through content and staff development.

"In their newsrooms, their communities and their profession, Troy Turner and Karen Magnuson have embraced similar qualities that distinguished Bob McGruder," said Jack Marsh, vice president of the Freedom Forum and Diversity Institute. "They have not lost their focus and enthusiasm, despite the enormous challenges and changes facing the news industry in the past year. Their commitment to diversity is unwavering and an inspiration to others."

Magnuson, who won in the over-75,000 circulation category, has been editor of the Democrat and Chronicle the past 10 years and was president of APME in 2006-2007. Magnuson made diversity a priority in both roles, the judges noted, promoting diversity in her newsroom and community and on a national level.

Magnuson's years as editor "are a compendium of diversity achievement, and a review shows she has taken this crusade to heart since her first day here," said one of her nominators, Linda Baird, vice president for human resources at the Democrat and Chronicle.

In the under-75,000 circulation category, Turner was cited for combating racism and advancing cultural diversity in the remote Four Corners region served by The Daily Times. Despite its limited resources and size, the newsroom has been an effective, courageous and creative advocate for diversity through content and staffing, the judges said.

Turner "encourages all of us to understand our role as a leader in promoting cultural diversity in our community by reporting both the similarities and differences that influence the cultural experiences and backgrounds of individuals and groups in our area," said his nominator, Cindy Cowan, production director of The Daily Times.

Judges were Calvin Stovall, executive editor, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton, N.Y., representing APME; Marty Kaiser, editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, representing ASNE; Doris Truong, copy editor, The Washington Post, representing UNITY; last year's winners John Bodette, executive editor, St. Cloud (Minn.) Times, and Charles Pittman, senior vice president for publishing at Schurz Communications; and Marsh, representing the Freedom Forum.

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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