- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2002

The Washington Times has won seven first-place awards in the annual Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) Washington D.C. Chapter Dateline Awards, including one for the newspaper's coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Reporters and photographers for The Times took first-place honors in the daily newspaper categories for spot and general news, sports, photojournalism, features, investigative reporting and columns, and received honorable mentions for financial, sports and general news coverage, and its photojournalism and features.
The awards, which honor the best news coverage by local newspapers, magazines and broadcast operations in 2001, were presented Tuesday night at the SPJ's annual banquet at the National Press Club.
"Class will tell," said Times Managing Editor Fran Coombs. "There are a lot of fine news people in the Washington area, but this year Times staffers were the best of the best. While we're not here to win awards, recognition from one's peers is high praise indeed. The news business is an unforgiving mistress, though: All we ultimately care about is tomorrow's paper."
Unlike this year's Pulitzer Prize contest, September 11 coverage did not dominate the awards. Only five entries in more than 30 categories won citations for September 11 coverage.
Organizers said this year's contest was a real "mish-mash" of entries, with few from the region's largest newspapers, such as The Washington Post, or the smallest weeklies.
The Times' metropolitan, business and national reporters' coverage of September 11 won first place for spot news.
Other first-place awards went to reporters for articles about Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, the District's red-light cameras, Ritalin and youth, the District's towing practices and care of the elderly.
Photographer Mary Calvert won a first-place award for "Timeless Love," her photo essay about a widowed grandfather re-entering the world of dating.
Reporters for The Post took first place for business financial reporting for a story called "Urban Rebirth."
The Washington City Paper won first place in the weekly category for its sports, arts, photojournalism and general news reporting, and the Northwest Current won first place for investigative reporting in the weekly category for an article about soil toxicity.
Washingtonian magazine won all three awards in the magazine category, including one for September 11 coverage.
Radio station WMAL-AM (Radio 630) won five awards two first-place honors, including one for its spot news coverage of the aftermath of September 11, and three second-place awards. WTOP-AM (Radio 1500) won four awards, including two first-place honors.
TV station WJLA (Channel 7) won first-place awards for general news and features, and TV reporter Theresa Dickie of News Channel 8 won for first place in arts criticism and two second-place awards for general news and features.
"It was a top-notch group this year," said SPJ chapter President Ann Augherton. "The awards were well-deserved."
At the awards dinner, the SPJ also presented its 2002 Distinguished Service Award to retired CBS News broadcaster Ed Bliss and inducted four journalists into the Washington D.C. SPJ Hall of Fame: Sam Donaldson of ABC News, Barry Schweid of the Associated Press, columnist James J. Kilpatrick of the Universal Press Syndicate and Dorothy Gilliam of The Post.

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