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Kristen Griffith wins Rookie of the Year 2019

Kristen Griffith wins the MDDC Rookie of the Year prize for new journalists for her excellence and professionalism as the education reporter for The Enterprise in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.

This award honors a new journalist with less than 18 months' experience in the field.  The submission package included three to five clips of the reporter's work and a letter of recommendation from his or her editor.  Nine nominations were received from five member publications. 

The entries were judged by MDDC Press Foundation Board members. The judges were looking for versatility—feature and news, writing, social media, video—and skill. All nominees delivered.

The judges were impressed with Griffith’s tenacity, story selection and FOIA requests. “If you removed her from her paper, the readers would have missed really important stories.  [She has] drive, determination and grit.” The judges observed that “working at a small paper, she is digging on her own.”

Enterprise editors Donnie Morgan and Jesse Yeatman wrote in their recommendation letter “it has been a stellar rookie year for Kristen. She not only is unafraid to speak truth to power, but her lively and engaging personality puts people at ease. This innate ability to connect with others has served her – and The Enterprise – well.”

Griffith graduated in 2018 with a master’s degree in journalism from American University.


About our Nominees

Marcus Dieterle, Cecil Whig

“Extremely versatile. Stepped off his college campus into the Cecil Whig newsroom where he handled an impressive array of duties in impressive fashion, from editing election night copy his first night on the job to covering breaking news to taking over the arts and entertainment beat to helping with production.”

Brooks Dubose, The Capital

“Capably handled news and features. Especially enjoyed the story about the heist of the crab costume.”

Naomi Harris, The Capital

“Naomi quickly became an important contributor to the newsroom, taking on any assignment and carving out a special interest in health care stories. She’s quickly become a force in education reporting, pushing new story ideas and pursuing long-running topics we cover.”

Brandon Holveck, The News Journal

“He’s one of our most versatile reporters. He understands how to connect to readers. He has a knack for identifying stories that readers will engage with and delivers them quickly, cleanly and often with little guidance.”

Hallie Miller, The Baltimore Sun

“A prime example of the multi-faceted modern journalist, she's done audience engagement, multi-media and podcasts while also writing features and covering real estate. Her stories are very well-written and researched with memorable phrases, historical context and character insights.”

Daniel Oyefusi, The Baltimore Sun

“He worked all hours of the day, responding to news immediately, participating in game coverage at home and on the road, and writing in-depth feature stories accessible to both hardcore fans and bandwagon joiners. Daniel developed engaging content for our readers, ultimately helping to distinguish our Ravens coverage from other media outlets.”

Lilly Price, The Capital

“Lilly was assigned some sensitive stories, often challenging for an inexperienced reporter, and she handled them well. Used social media to broaden and promote her work.”

Olivia Sanchez, The Capital

“Although this is her first full-time job in journalism, she quickly assumed command of the beat with a variety of stories. On top of that, she found time to write features outside her beat just because she found the subject interesting. Olivia has skills and drive beyond her experience level.”

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