Scripps Howard Foundation announces journalism award winners

CINCINNATI – The Scripps Howard Foundation on Thursday announced winners of its national journalism awards, including in a new category for digital innovation.

The honours recognize excellence in 15 categories for work done in 2012. Awards totalling $175,000 are to be presented May 9 during a dinner in Naples, Fla. Awards also recognize excellence in administration and teaching among college-level communication educators.

The winners:

— Investigative reporting: Spencer S. Hsu, The Washington Post, will receive the $15,000 Ursula and Gilbert Farfel Prize, for a series about the Justice Department’s use of flawed data in more than 20,000 convictions.

— Distinguished service to the First Amendment: The Wall Street Journal will receive $10,000 and the Edward Willis Scripps Award for a project on secretive ways personal information is tracked and used by corporate data-gatherers and government trackers.

— Public service reporting: Patricia Callahan, Sam Roe and Michael Hawthorne, The Chicago Tribune, will receive $10,000 and the Roy W. Howard Award for a series that spurred congressional hearings and an EPA investigation by exposing how the chemical and tobacco industries waged a deceptive, decades-long campaign to promote use of flame-retardant furniture.

— Human interest storytelling: Michael M. Phillips, The Wall Street Journal, will receive $10,000 and the Ernie Pyle Award for chronicling America’s newest post-war generation and how Iraq and Afghanistan have marked the nation’s psyche.

— Breaking news: The Denver Post will receive $10,000 and a trophy for its coverage of the Aurora, Colo., theatre shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

— Digital innovation: The New York Times will receive $10,000 and a trophy for a portfolio of work that included “Snow Fall,” which chronicled the harrowing story of 16 expert skiers caught in an avalanche.

— Television/cable in-depth local coverage: KMGH-TV in Denver will receive $10,000 and the Jack R. Howard Award for uncovering governmental mismanagement of a wildfire that took three lives and destroyed more than 20 homes.

— Television/cable in-depth national and international coverage: John Carlos Frey, John Larson and Brian Epstein of the PBS newsmagazine “Need to Know” and The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute will receive $10,000 and the Jack R. Howard Award for a collaboration that documented abuses by the U.S. Border Patrol and led members of Congress to call for an internal review.

— Radio in-depth coverage: Robert Wildeboer and Cate Cahan, WBEZ, Chicago Public Media, will receive $10,000 and the Jack R. Howard Award for a series about excessive phone charges for inmates at Cook County Jail that led to a 75 per cent rate reduction.

— Community journalism: Brandon Stahl, the News Tribune in Duluth, Minn., will receive $10,000 for the series “Methadone: A Costly Fix,” which prompted calls for statewide reform in the treatment of drug addiction.

— Environmental reporting: Kenneth R. Weiss and Rick Loomis, the Los Angeles Times, will receive $10,000 and the Edward J. Meeman Award for a five-part series on the questions: “Can we live sustainably on this planet and for how long?”

— Business/economics reporting: Lou Kilzer, Andrew Conte and Jim Wilhelm, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, will receive $10,000 and the William Brewster Styles Award for a series demonstrating how almost anyone can set up an offshore account and create a shell company.

— Editorial writing: Tim Nickens, Tampa Bay Times, will receive $10,000 and the Walker Stone Award for editorials on issues ranging from voter suppression to public health.

— Commentary: James Carroll, The Boston Globe, will receive $10,000 for columns that brought historical perspective to 2012’s headline news.

— Photojournalism: Lisa Krantz, San Antonio Express-News, will receive $10,000 for a portfolio offering diversity of topic and approach, from rural Texas to the national political stage, and a mother’s love for her soldier-son who was severely injured in Afghanistan.

— Journalism and mass communication administrator of the year: Tim Gleason, dean, School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, will receive $10,000 and the Charles E. Scripps Award.

— Journalism and mass communication teacher of the year: Jennifer George-Palilonis, associate professor, Department of Journalism, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., will receive $10,000 and the Charles E. Scripps Award.