- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Washington Times won 10 Dateline Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a competition recognizing Washington-area journalists and news organizations for print, broadcast and online work done in 2013.

Metro reporter Andrea Noble won first in the general news category for a piece on alligators becoming popular guards for drug dealers, praised by the judges for sharp writing and “a new twist on man bites dog” story.

Ms. Noble, along with Metro Editor Matthew Cella, also won first place in the investigative journalism category for a series of stories on the sorry state of D.C. ambulances, from fuel problems to unreliable engines and erroneous routes — praised by the judges as “a fine example of working the beat.”

“Massacre at the Navy Yard” — which featured the combined work of a dozen reporters mobilized to cover September’s mass shooting at the facility — won first for spot news. The coverage included credible eyewitness accounts, political fallout, local and national reactions, and cultural implications of the events.

“The staff covered the heck out of this story and did it all on deadline,” the judges noted.

The winning team consisted of White House reporters Dave Boyer and Ben Wolfgang, political editor Stephen Dinan, metro reporters Andrea Noble and Meredith Somers, political reporter Jacqueline Klimas, Inside the Beltway columnist Jennifer Harper, national security reporter Kristina Wong, investigative reporters Jeffrey Anderson and Phillip Swarts, social issues reporter Cheryl Wetzstein and sports reporter Amanda Comak.

SEE ALSO: Times staff wins 16 honors at 2013 VPA awards

Photographers Andrew Harnik and Andrew Geraci supplied on-the-scene images of police action in the aftermath, along with candlelight vigils. Graphic designers Greg Groesch and Linas Garsys created multiple charts and maps to outline the action of the day.

The Times was the first to verify and publish eyewitness information during the unfolding events, and the first to challenge erroneous reports about the weapons used by the gunman.

Ms. Comak won first in the features category for “Team spirit and the holy spirit,” which examined the link between religious beliefs and a winning instinct. Ms. Somers was named in a finalist in the category for her story on Rolling Thunder, cited for actually going on the annual motorcycle ride to honor veterans.

Editorial writer Emily Miller won first place in the editorial category for five op-eds on local gun control policies and the political and community implications.

Economics reporter Patrice Hill won first place in the business category for her story “D.C. draws Wal-Mart into battle of politics,” tracking the complicated relationship between major businesses and local officials.

Aram Bakshian Jr. won first place in the arts criticism category for his review of the book publishing industry, complete with a “nitty gritty” historic perspective that appealed to the judging panel. William F. Gavin and Claire Hopley were both named finalists in the category for their insight into jazz great Charlie Parker and the contemporary fiction of Haiti, respectively.

The prizes were announced Tuesday during the annual Dateline Awards dinner at the National Press Club.

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