- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Writers, photographers and artists at The Washington Times won several awards this week.

The Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored The Times in five competitive categories of the 2003 “Best in Journalism” awards yesterday.

The organization was founded in 1909 to promote the free practice of journalism and high standards of ethical behavior.

“These folks are the best of the best, and we applaud them,” said Fran Coombs, managing editor of The Times.

“But a newspaper is only as good as tomorrow’s edition. Stay tuned.”

Metro reporter Jim Keary and National reporter Jerry Seper won first place in the spot-news category for “Caught: Police arrest two men at a rest stop,” revealing the arrest of two notorious sniper suspects last fall. The reporters “provided thorough coverage,” judges said.

Mary Shaffrey, Guy Taylor and Ellen Sorokin of the Metro staff at The Times won first place for “Twist of Fate,” an in-depth overview of a tornado that struck La Plata in Southern Maryland last year.

“Descriptive vignettes capture the terror of that Sunday,” judges noted.

Mr. Keary also won first place for his investigative story of cronyism within the D.C. government, “backing up allegations with appropriate quotes while giving the subjects of his investigation a chance to respond,” judges observed.

Columnist Adrienne Washington won first place in the editorial category for “Welfare Reform Neglects Safe Care for Small Children,” a commentary judges said “gives voice to children, a group without a strong Washington lobby.”

Metro reporters Matthew Cella and Mary Shaffrey won honorable mention in the same category for the story of a hijacked bus — with a happy ending.

Photographer Daniel Rosenbaum won first place in the photojournalism category for a story and photos detailing the decision of a teacher who donated a kidney to an ailing student, deemed by judges a “heartwarming story told graphically.”

Other Times photographers also were honored.

Michael Connor won honorable mention for a series of photos of local fathers and children, while Mary F. Calvert won for a single shot of President Bush taken from a child’s eye level.

Three Washington Times artists were honored this week by the Illustrator’s Club of Washington. The club chose 11 of their illustrations to appear in a juried show that officials said represents “some of the best artwork that Washington, Maryland and Virginia illustrators have to offer.”

Alexander Hunter had five of his illustrations accepted, Linas Garsys had three and Rich Pope two — one of which was honored with a silver medal, said Joe Scopin, art director at The Times.

The show opens Sept. 18 at the Charles Sumner School in Washington.

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