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MDDC Press Association announces winners of contest with video announcements





Media Contact:

Rebecca Snyder

MDDC Press Association







Reporters, editors and other media professionals receive awards remotely May 11-15

(Baltimore, MD) – Members and supporters of the Maryland | Delaware | DC Press Association came together virtually this week to highlight news with integrity and excellence in journalism by recognizing the winners of the Contest, which celebrates print and online work completed in 2019.

The contest, governed by the Association’s Editorial and Advertising Committees, admitted nearly 1,900 entries from 52 member publications among 85 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.  These entries were judged by news media professionals at the Iowa Press Association. 

There are several top awards are given across all divisions to the publication.  These include the James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award for demonstrating use of public information act requests in its reporting, Courage in Journalism, honoring acts of courage in journalism and strength in adversity while uncovering truth, and Best Moves, which highlights the most important thing MDDC member organizations did in 2019.  The contest also honors top personnel in design and sales and honors new journalist.  Members of the MDDC Press Foundation board of directors judged many top awards and the video audience voted on the Best Moves.  The capstone award, one per division, is News Organization of the Year.

In memory of those killed at the 2018 shootings at the Capital Gazette and the staff who survived, MDDC presented the Courage in Journalism award.  This year’s recipient was the Montgomery County Sentinel staff for their efforts to cover a local high school sexual assault scandal. The judges recognized the tenacity of the staff and difficulty of acquiring information in a situation where it would have been easier to drop the story. Read more.

The Baltimore Sun won the James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award for its body of work reporting with public records.  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 MDDC Press Foundation Board members.  Read more.

The Baltimore Sun won for its Best Moves submission, which was its Diversity Committee.  The Diversity Committee led intense diversity training within the newsroom and has undergone a content audit through the Maynard Institute – the first newsroom in the country to do so.  This has resulted in the creation of newsroom resource that is shifting the way the Sun reports and writes. The winner was determined by audience vote.

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.  Nine nominations were received from five member publications.  Kristen Griffith of The Enterprise was honored for her skill, story selection, and FOIA requests. The award was judged by MDDC Press Foundation Board members.  Read more.

Tracie Rawson of the Baltimore Sun won Designer of the Year, which honors a body of work over the contest cycle.  Tracie’s portfolio of work stood out for her creativity and versatility. According to Leeann Adams of the Baltimore Sun “she’s always looking for ways to engage the reader with the unexpected.” The concept of conveying information visually is exacting and sophisticated, and the judges remarked “Overall, these entries are the finest [we have] EVER seen.”  Read more.

Kathy McGinty of the Cape Gazette won Salesperson of the Year, which celebrates a successful sales executive that runs circles around their peers, exemplified by setting and exceeding sales goals, building customer relationships, and understanding the client’s business.  The judges recognized Kathy’s commitment to the Cape Gazette in a tough market, noting that she has “great interactions with clients and steady development of revenue.”  Read more.

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 Daily Record won in Division C (print dailies under 20,000).  For non-daily publications, The Catholic Review 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 Baltimore Business Journal won in Division F (print non-dailies under 10,000); and Baltimore Brew won in Division O (online-only).

For a full listing of winners and their award-winning work, please see the awards publication.  Many nominees for top awards have been interviewed on MDDC’s podcast, Five Dubs.  Episodes may be found at www.five-dubs.com.  More episodes will be posted in the coming weeks.

Also at the event, Springbrook High School senior Joel Lev-Tov was named the 2020 Michael S. Powell High School Journalist of the Year.  He is currently the Co-Editor-in-Chief of his school’s newspaper, The Blueprint and a staff writer at the MoCo Student, a Montgomery County student newspaper.  A panel of MDDC editors and reporters reviewed applications for this prestigious $1,500 cash award. 


The Maryland | Delaware | DC Press Association is a vibrant, influential association representing 105 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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