NLA (ASNE-APME) announces finalists for 2019 Awards

Columbia, Mo. (March 26, 2019) - Tenacious reporting that sparked a public dialog, reporting partnerships that urged readers to take action, impactful interactive storytelling and courageous reporting from war torn countries are among the entries spotlighted as finalists in the 2019 News Leaders Association Awards.
The NLA Awards honors the best in print, digital, photo and video content in 11 categories. The contest drew 526 entries, from which 49 finalists from news outlets of various sizes and platforms were named. Winners will be announced April 2, 2019.
"The finalists cited here exemplify the important and powerful work under way in newsrooms across the country, in defiance of the economic trends we hear so much about and in service of the First Amendment," said ASNE President Nancy Barnes. "We are proud to recognize so much inspiring work that shines a light on the most important issues of our day around the country and the world."
"It's heartening to read the many examples of strong and courageous watchdog journalism among the finalists," said APME President Angie Muhs, editor of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill. "Reporters and editors at news organizations both large and small are holding government officials and others accountable, and giving a voice to vulnerable people. Many of the finalists' journalism led to meaningful change."
This is the 1st year of the NLA Awards, continuing the 39-year tradition of the ASNE Awards and the 48-year tradition of the APME Awards, among the most prestigious in journalism. Many of the categories are sponsored and come with cash prizes, thanks to a group of editors from the former Knight Ridder Inc., The Dallas Morning News, Advance Publications Inc., the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Seattle Times, the Chicago Tribune, the O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism at Marquette University in Milwaukee and The New York Times.
Judging took place both online and on site at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. The finalists are as follows:
Batten Medal for Courage in Journalism
Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan, Paul Pringle, Sarah Parvini and Adam Elmahrek, Los Angeles Times - " A Scandal at USC " 
Maggie Michael, The Associated Press - " Yemen's Dirty War " 
Hannah Dreier, ProPublica (in partnership with New York magazine, Newsday, This American Life, and New York Times Magazine) - " Trapped in Gangland "
Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership
Kevin Walter, The Buffalo News - " Cracking Erie County's patronage-laden Water Authority " 
Staff and David Plazas, Michael A. Anastasi, Maria De Varenne, The Tennessean (USA TODAY Network) - " Civility Tennessee " 
Staff of The Palm Beach Post, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Herald and WLRN Public Radio, The Palm Beach Post - " The Invading Sea: Can South Florida be saved? "
Corey Friedman, The Wilson Times - " School's policy stifles speech " 
Staff, Capital Gazette - " Capital Gazette " 
Jeffery Gerritt, Palestine Herald-Press - " What are they hiding? "
Deborah Howell Award for Writing Excellence
Dan Barry and Jeffrey E. Singer, The New York Times - " The Case of Jane Doe Ponytail " 
Kit Chellel, Bloomberg - " The Gambler Who Cracked the Horse-Racing Code " 
Joe Sexton, ProPublica - " "I Don't Want to Shoot You, Brother" "
Dori J. Maynard Award for Justice in Journalism
Sharon Cohen, David Goldman and Mary Hudetz, The Associated Press - " Missing in Indian Country " 
Gary Harki, The Virginian-Pilot - " Jailed in Crisis: For many inmates, mental illness is a death sentence " 
Staff: Finlay Young, Kathleen Flynn, Nadia Sussman, ProPublica, in collaboration with TIME - " Unprotected "
Frank A. Blethen Award for Local Accountability Reporting
Barbara Laker, Wendy Ruderman and Dylan Purcell, The Philadelphia Inquirer - "Toxic City: Sick Schools " 
Matthew Dolan and David Jesse, Detroit Free Press - " In Donors We Trust " 
Kiera Feldman, ProPublica (in partnership with The Investigative Fund and Voice of America) - " Trashed: Inside New York's Deadly Private Garbage Industry "
John Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader - " Crisis of Care " 
Ed Williams, Searchlight New Mexico - " A Pattern of Failures " 
Christian Sheckler, South Bend Tribune, and Ken Armstrong, ProPublica - " Criminal Justice in Elkhart, Indiana "
Mike Royko Award for Commentary and Column Writing
Melinda Henneberger , The Kansas City Star 
Nestor Ramos , Boston Globe 
Matt Bai , Yahoo News
O'Brien Fellowship Award for Impact in Public Service Journalism
Staff, The Wall Street Journal - " Trump's Hush Money " 
Staff, The Associated Press - " China Clamps Down " 
Staff, South Florida Sun Sentinel - " Parkland "
Punch Sulzberger Award for Innovative Storytelling
Staff, The Wall Street Journal - " "Tap" Storytelling " 
Staff, The Washington Post - " 1968 " 
Staff: Sisi Wei, Nick Fortugno, Matt Katz, Kavitha Surana, ProPublica - " The Waiting Game "
Beth Schwartzapfel and Emily Kassie, The Marshall Project - " Banished " 
Marcel Honore, April Estrellon and Cory Lum, Honolulu Civil Beat - " Are We Ready? " 
Ryan Murphy, Chris Essig, Darla Cameron, Elbert Wang, Emily Yount, Naema Ahmed, Aliyya Swaby, Alex Samuels, and Brandon Formby, The Texas Tribune - "The Texas Tribune: Customizing Storytelling "
Al Neuharth Breaking News Reporting Award
Staff, The Kansas City Star - " Tragedy on Table Rock Lake " 
Staff, Miami Herald - " The Fall of the Florida International University Bridge " 
Staff of Capital Gazette, Annapolis Md. and Baltimore Sun, The Baltimore Sun - "Capital Gazette shooting "
Visual Journalism Award
Staff: Gabrielle Lurie, Jessica Christian, and Santiago Mejia, San Francisco Chronicle- " Inferno in Paradise " 
Gary Coronado, Los Angeles Times - " Without a Home " 
Kristen Zeis, The Virginian-Pilot - " No Turning Back: The story of a transgender man's experience as a Navy sailor "
Staff, Capital Gazette - " Capital Gazette shooting " 
Todd Wiseman, Alex Samuels and Christina Shaman, The Texas Tribune - " Texas Tribune: Out of Options " 
Todd Wiseman, Alana Rocha and Justin Dehn, The Texas Tribune - " The Texas Tribune: 13 Hours to Midnight "
First Amendment Award
Staff, South Florida Sun Sentinel - " Public officials after Parkland: Hide, deny, spin " 
Staff, The Washington Post - " Jamal Khashoggi " 
Stephen Deere, Dan Klepal, J. Scott Trubey, Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - " How Atlanta Trampled the Public's Right to Know " 
Staff: Derek Kravitz, Al Shaw, Claire Perlman, Alex Mierjeski, ProPublica - " Trump Town "
A group of news leaders and journalism professionals around the nation determined finalists and winners. In addition to the ASNE Awards Committee Co-Chairs Brian McGrory of The Boston Globe and George Stanley of Gannett and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and APME Awards Committee Chair Tom Koetting of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, judges include:
Nancy Ancrum, Miami Herald
Mark Baldwin, Rockford Register Star
Nancy Barnes, NPR
Peter Bhatia, Detroit Free Press
Kathy Best, Missoulian
Alfredo Carbajal, Al Dia (The Dallas Morning News)
Nicole Carroll, USA TODAY
Paul Cheung, Knight Foundation
Rick Christie, The Palm Beach Post
Michael Days, Philadelphia Media Network
Paula Froke, APME Executive Director
Alison Gerber, Chattanooga Times Free Press
Audrey Cooper, San Francisco Chronicle
Lucy Dalglish, University of Maryland
Manny Garcia, USA TODAY Network
Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, The Washington Post
Bill Greene, The Boston Globe
Katrice Hardy, The Greenville News
David Haynes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Teri Hayt, ASNE Executive Director
Mandy Jenkins
Mark Katches, Tampa Bay Times
Peter Kovacs, The Advocate
Emily Le Coz, GateHouse Media
Karen Magnuson
Colin McMahon, Tribune Publishing
Juli Metzger, Ball State University
Summer Moore, GateHouse Media
Angie Muhs, State Journal-Register
Sarah Nordgren, The Associated Press
Deb Pastner, Star Tribune
Autumn Phillips, The Post and Courier
Mitch Pugh, The Post and Courier
George Rodrigue, The Plain Dealer
Mark Russell, The Memphis Commercial Appeal
Jim Simon, Honolulu Civil Beat
Mizell Stewart, Gannett/USA TODAY Network
Joyce Terhaar
Robyn Tomlin, The News & Observer
Hollis Towns, USA TODAY Network
Anne Vasquez
Sherman Williams, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Mike Wilson, The Dallas Morning News
About the American Society of News Editors
The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism; defends and protects First Amendment rights; and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism work force, opinion journalism, news literacy and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.
About the Associated Press Media Editors
The Associated Press Media Editors advances the principles and practices of responsible journalism. Founded in 1931, it supports and mentors a diverse network of current and emerging newsroom leaders. APME champions the First Amendment and promotes freedom of information and trains journalists to realize their aspirations and thrive in a rapidly changing environment. APME promotes forward-looking ideas that benefit news organizations and the communities they serve. It works closely with The Associated Press, the largest independent media operation in the world.
About the News Leaders Association
The American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors are joining forces to become NLA, the News Leaders Association. This is an exciting time and our new organization will continue to advocate for strong leadership, a diverse and inclusive workforce and defend against challenges to the First Amendment. We ask that you join us and provide your expertise and leadership as we move forward this year.