- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Washington Times won 17 awards in the 2003 Virginia Press Association’s competition for writing, photography, art and news design. The annual contest is one of the largest of its kind in the nation, attracting more than 5,000 entries from 121 newspapers this year.

Religion writer Julia Duin won first place for “Cross Purposes: The Boom at Christian Colleges,” a three-part project that judges called “a thorough, well-written, comprehensive series on an area of life often overlooked,” with “wonderful quotes and balanced reporting.”

S.A. Miller, a Metro desk reporter, also won first place for “Decrepit” in the education-writing division, a three-part series examining maintenance challenges at the University of the District of Columbia, deemed “descriptive, tight … vivid” by the judging panel.

The Times sports department won first place for four sports pages boasting “good use of dominant images,” while national desk writer Audrey Hudson garnered first place in the government-writing division. A trio of her stories were called “well-written” and “well-focused” by judges.

Photographer Maya Alleruzzo won both first place and Best in Show for “Nothing Left,” a striking portrait of a Jordanian woman and her grandchildren standing under solitary beams of sunlight amid the ruins of their home after a police shootout. The photo, judges said, “Stood out right away.”

Artist Peter Steiner also won first place for a dozen editorial cartoons, which judges felt “stood up without attacking individuals — very funny.”

Among second-place winners, Metro reporter Jabeen Bhatti won accolades for three investigative stories on city schools, and sports columnist Thom Loverro was cited for his thoughtful pieces on three sports personalties.

The Washington Times staff won second place for spot news writing covering the fall of Baghdad last April.

Editorial artist Bill Garner also won second place for 12 cartoons, which inspired one judge to comment, “So what if they’re mean? As I liberal, I think they strike a nerve.”

In addition, designer Erin Hyland won a second-place award for her front-page layouts for the “Show” section, deemed “consistently good with lots of surprises” by judges.

Among third-place winners, features writer Christian Toto was cited for three critical pieces in the Arts section, the Times sports department for a special section devoted to the Redskins, and the Times staff for the “general makeup” of the paper on four dates throughout the year.

Photographer J.M. Eddins Jr. also won third place for a clever spot-news photo called “Call wading,” and designer Scott Haring placed third in page design for three examples of “Family Times.” Mr. Haring also was recognized for his baseball and football reviews — deemed both “news-filled” and “nontraditional” by judges.

Founded in 1881, the Virginia Press Association membership includes 205 newspapers, 15 colleges and universities, and a variety of businesses.

In addition, Times photographer Nancy Pastor has received a Judges Special Recognition Award from the Missouri School of Journalism in the 61st annual Pictures of the Year competition, which included entries from 1,300 newspaper and magazine photographers from 25 countries.

Her work was cited for illustrating Maryland tobacco farmers and the issue of smoking and its attendant diseases.

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