- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Washington Times has won 21 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) for stories and images that appeared in the paper last year. The annual Dateline Awards for Excellence competition — which recognizes local reporting and examples of journalism ideals — included a record 177 entries from 17 regional news organizations, according to the SPJ.

The Times took home five first-place awards. Editorial writer Deborah Simmons was recognized in the editorial, columns and commentary category for a series on challenges faced by D.C. schools.

Jim McElhatton of the Metro desk won first place in general news for a quartet of stories on truancy in public schools, and Business desk writer Chris Baker won first for business and financial reporting for “WUSA charged D.C. for promos.”

Arts writer Deborah K. Dietsch took first place in arts criticism for “Time to rethink ‘star-chitecture,’ .” Photographer Astrid Riecken won first in the photojournalism category for a three-photo series entitled “Deconstructing Mata Hari.”

Among second-place winners, Arts editor Daniel Wattenberg was recognized in arts criticism for “From Sir, with love.” Metro columnist Adrienne T. Washington was recognized in the editorial, column and commentary category for “Street-renaming plan ignores D.C. residents,” and features writer Gabriella Boston won for “Degree in debt.”

Metro reporter Matthew Cella took second place in general news for four stories covering the outcome of an auto accident involving a fire official. Sportswriter Jon Siegel won in the sports category for “Big Train rolls on.”

Business reporter Patrice Hill was recognized in business and financial reporting for “Income gap grows in U.S.,” and photographer Daniel Rosenbaum took second place in photojournalism for a sports photo entitled “Rusty Fielding.”

Metro reporter S.A. Miller and National reporter Brian DeBose won third place in general news for four stories on Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele’s campaign for Senate, and Metro’s Mr. McElhatton was also awarded third place in investigative reporting for “How a D.C. business empire crumbles.”

Sportswriter David Elfin took third in sports for “A model dad,” and features writer Karen Goldberg Goff took third in features for “11th-hour pregnancy.” Business reporter Jeffrey Sparshott won third in business and financial reporting for “The hidden cost of free trade,” and arts writer Jayne Blanchard took third in arts criticism for “Nature of love stews in ‘Goat.’”

Photographer Joseph Silverman won third place in photojournalism for the sports photo “Line Drive.” Photo’s Miss Riecken was given a special certificate in photojournalism for a photo called “A Christmas Angel.”

The SPJ awards were announced Tuesday night at the National Press Club.

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