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MDDC announces winners of contest at News with Integrity conference

May 14, 2018

(Annapolis, MD) – Members and supporters of the Maryland | Delaware | DC Press Association came together today at a program to highlight news with integrity and excellence in journalism by recognizing the winners of the Contest, which celebrates print and online work completed in 2017.  Attendees also heard from Congressman Jamie Raskin, of Maryland’s 8th district, Philip Rucker, part of the Pulitzer prize-winning team at the Washington Post, and Rebecca Frank, director of research and insights at News Media Alliance.

The contest, governed by the Association’s Editorial and Advertising Committees, admitted nearly 2,200 entries from 62 member publications among 94 categories.  There are eight divisions in the contest, which group member publications into daily and non-daily print and online-only categories, then further group them by circulation.  Within the eight divisions is one specifically for SPJ members.  One Best in Show award is given in each category across all divisions.  Additionally, one James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award is given across all divisions to the publication best demonstrating use of public information act requests in its reporting.  The capstone award, one per division, is News Organization of the Year.

The Association recognized a new journalist with the Rookie of the Year award.  This award honors a new journalist with less than 18 months' experience in the field.  Six nominations were received from six member publications.Jesse Dougherty, Washington Post  Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post was honored for his skill, dedication and writing ability. The award was judged by a distinguished panel: Tom Linthicum, President of TDL Group and veteran journalist, John League, retired publisher of The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown and Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland.

Chad Trovinger of the Herald-Mail won Designer of the Year, which honors a body of work over the contest cycle.  Chad’s portfolio of work stood out for his ability to navigate both print and digital interpretations, while transforming the work to fit a variety of styles.  The judges noted his ability to “change up styles” and interpret the look and feel his editor wanted.   It is clear that he “has to keep reinventing himself and the work.”  Trovinger’s editor, Jake Womer, wrote in his recommendation letter that “Chad knows we’re in the business of conveying information, and he keeps the reader foremost in his mind.”

The Baltimore Sun and the Montgomery County Sentinel each won the James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award.  The Sun was highlighted for its body of work reporting through public records, while the Montgomery County Sentinel was highlighted for its in depth reporting on one issue, the Metro system.  The award is named for Jim Keat, a retired editor and foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, who was a long-time advocate for public information access. Keat is also a member of the MDDC Newspaper Hall of Fame.  The award was judged by a distinguished panel:  Chris Eddings, retired publisher of The Daily Record and former Public Information Act Compliance Board member, Carol Melamed, retired Washington Post attorney for government affairs, Frank Quine, retired assistant dean of the University of Maryland Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, and Miranda Spivak, Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism, DePauw University and independent journalist for Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. 

The News Organization of the Year awards represent the best publication in each division.  These awards are chosen based on the points accumulated for first and second prizes in each category.  In the daily divisions, The Baltimore Sun won the award in Division A (print dailies over 75,000); The Frederick News-Post was named News Organization of the Year for Division B (print dailies from 20,000 to 75,000); and the The Daily Times won in Division C (print dailies under 20,000).  For non-daily publications, The Aegis won the award in Division D (print non-dailies over 20,000); Cape Gazette was named News Organization of the Year for Division E (print non-dailies from 10,000 to 20,000); The Montgomery Sentinel won in Division F (print non-dailies under 10,000); and Capital News Service won in Division O (online-only). This is the first year for Division O.

For a full listing of winners and their award-winning work, please see the video of the full presentation.  For the MDDC member directory and awards showcase, please click here

Also at the event, Bethesda—Chevy Chase High school senior Matthew Cohen was named the 2018 Michael S. Powell High School Journalist of the Year.  Cohen is currently the editor-in-chief of the Tatler, the high school newspaper.  A panel of MDDC editors and reporters, including Angie Price of the Bay Times, Dan Divilio of the Kent County News, Ben Penserga of The Daily Times and Brian Karem of the Sentinel, reviewed applications for this prestigious $1,500 cash award. 

The Maryland | Delaware | DC Press Association is a vibrant, influential association representing 114 member news media organizations in our region.  We believe a strong news media is central to a strong and open society.  We help our members succeed through advocacy efforts, revenue generation, professional development and industry recognition.  Learn more at www.mddcpress.com.

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