ASNE Awards 2002

Winners of 2002 ASNE Awards announced
Posted 3/29/2002 2:25:00 PM

Winners of the 2002 ASNE Awards are:

  • The Wall Street Journal, New York: Bryan Gruley, David S. Cloud, Neil King, June Kronholz, Christina Binkley and Clare Ansberry, with contributions from others — Jesse Laventhol Prize for Deadline News Reporting by a Team
  • N.R. Kleinfield, The New York Times — Jesse Laventhol Prize for Deadline News Reporting by an Individual
  • Anne Hull, The Washington Post — The Freedom Forum/ASNE Award for Outstanding Writing on Diversity
  • Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times — commentary writing
  • John McCormick, Chicago Tribune — editorial writing
  • Ellen Barry, The Boston Globe — nondeadline writing
  • Jim Dwyer, The New York Times — short writing
  • J. Albert Diaz, The Miami Herald — community service photojournalism

The Jesse Laventhol prizes each carry a $10,000 cash award; all of the others will receive $2,500 prizes. The awards will be made April 11, during the Society’s convention in Washington. The winning entries and interviews with the winners and finalists will be published in “Best Newspaper Writing 2002,” by The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, St. Petersburg, Fla.


A look at the winners:

The Wall Street Journal won the Jesse Laventhol Prize for its reporting from Ground Zero on Sept. 11, as the staff scrambled for makeshift office space after the attacks left their offices unusable. “The Journal and its staff rose above the particular challenges they faced on Sept. 11 to produce an account that is worthy of the biggest news story of our professional lives,” the judges said.

Kleinfield won the Jesse Laventhol Prize for his story from ground level on New York City’s streets on Sept. 11. The judges praised his cinematic retelling. “Every writing shift illustrated the mood of the moment,” the judges said.

Hull won the diversity writing award for a variety of stories, including the gentrification of an urban area and the post-Sept. 11 struggles of Muslims in Paterson, N.J. “Hull’s work, in a graceful and elegant narrative style, persuades people to read what they need to know and understand,” the judges said.

Lopez won the commentary/column writing award for writing that “can make you feel for the afflicted, force you to think anew and bring you to laughter, too.” His winning columns covered everything from Roger Clinton’s difficulties with a breathalyzer test to the terrorist attacks of September 11, and a San Francisco editor’s adventures with a Komodo dragon. “This is immensely powerful writing with great depth and range,” the judges commented.

McCormick won the editorial writing award for his eloquent commentary on topics including Sept. 11 and the war sacrifices that would be cheapened by efforts to sell the naming rights to a renovated Soldier Field. “In a classic editorial writing style, McCormick is a strong advocate without being preachy,” the judges said.

Barry won the nondeadline writing award for a story about teenage boys plucked from Sudan and placed in suburban homes and high schools. “This is stunning storytelling … fueled by the obvious high energy and powerful observation skills of Ellen Barry,” the judges said.

Dwyer won the short writing award for a story about a photo found inside the wreckage of the World Trade Center. “He establishes real suspense and builds a sense of drama,” the judges said. “His stories simply reach out and grab the reader.”

Diaz won the second annual photojournalism award for photos that illustrated the effects of urban sprawl and posed questions about its direction and solution. “In their humanity, seriousness and even whimsy, the photographer brought into sharp focus a critical issue that words alone cannot deliver,” the judges said.

The ASNE judges also recognized the work of other newspaper journalists as finalists:

Jesse Laventhol Prize for Deadline News Reporting by a Team

Los Angeles Times: Matea Gold, Maggie Farley, Geraldine Baum, Paul Lieberman, Usha Lee McFarling

St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: Dong-Phuong Nguyen, Graham Brink, Christopher Goffard, Kathryn Wexler, Amy Herdy, Angela Moore, Wes Allison, Linda Gibson, Kevin Graham, Jeff Harrington, Leanora Minai, John Martin, David Karp, Babita Persaud

Jesse Laventhol Prize for Deadline News Reporting by an Individual

John Bussey, The Wall Street Journal, New York

Commentary writing:

Leonard Pitts, The Miami Herald

Connie Schultz, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

Editorial writing:

Stephen Henderson, The Sun, Baltimore

Kate Stanley, Star Tribune, Minneapolis

Nondeadline writing:

Dexter Filkins, The New York Times

David Finkel, The Washington Post


Stephen Magagnini, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee

Amy Waldman, The New York Times

Short writing:

Michael Phillips, The Wall Street Journal, New York

Peter St. Onge, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer

Community Service Photojournalism:

Gail Fisher, Los Angeles Times

Brian Plonka, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

This year’s contest attracted more than 550 entries from news organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

The Jesse Laventhol Prizes are named in honor of a longtime Philadelphia newspaperman. They are endowed by his son, David A. Laventhol, a former editor and executive for Times Mirror, who is now publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review. Laventhol has been a member of ASNE for many years and has chaired and serves as a member of the ASNE Awards Board. He said he wanted to encourage excellence in a key aspect of newspaper reporting – “to recognize the best deadline work and to encourage more of it.”

This is the first year diversity has been recognized as a permanent category in the ASNE competition. The Freedom Forum, which has partnered with ASNE on many diversity efforts, funds this award.

The ASNE Foundation — which is supported by gifts from ASNE members, newspaper companies and foundations — funds the other prizes. The Poynter Institute administers the competition. Keith Woods of The Poynter Institute will be the editor of “Best Newspaper Writing 2002.”

The awards were made for work completed in 2001. Daily newspapers and wire services in the United States or Canada are eligible to enter. Also eligible are other newspapers in the Americas, wire services, and other organizations that gather and publish information for daily newspapers that are headed by an active member of ASNE. The work must be in English.

N. Don Wycliff, Chicago Tribune, chaired the Awards Board this year. Other judges were: Andrew N. Alexander, Cox Newspapers, Washington; Gerald M. Boyd, The New York Times; Milton Coleman, The Washington Post; Gregory Favre, The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Karla Garrett Harshaw, Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun; G. Maria Henson, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; David A. Laventhol, retired member, New York; Pamela K. Luecke, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va.; Walker Lundy, The Philadelphia Inquirer; Anthony Marro, Newsday, Melville, N.Y.; Gregory L. Moore, The Boston Globe; Richard A. Oppel, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; Michael Parks, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Madelyn A. Ross, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Tim J. McGuire, Star Tribune, Minneapolis; Sharon Rosenhause, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale; Paul C. Tash, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times; and Edward L. Seaton, The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury.

Carolyn Lee, The New York Times, chaired the photojournalism award panel. Four experts in photojournalism joined other Awards Board members in the judging. They were: Susan Gilbert, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer; John Glenn, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Patty Reksten, The Oregonian, Portland; and John Beale, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who won the award last year.

With about 850 members, ASNE is the principal organization of American newspaper editors. It is active in a number of areas, including open government, freedom of the press, journalism credibility and ethics, newsroom management, diversity and readership.