Awards Winners and Finalists Presented in 2005

The Deadline Club is pleased to announce the winners in the 2005 Annual Awards Contest, which honors excellence in journalism in 2004. The Deadline Club Awards recognize the best in New York area journalism – printed, broadcast or otherwise distributed. Winners were announced at the Annual Awards Dinner at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square on Monday, May 9, 2005. The evening featured a keynote address by Louis Boccardi, former President of The Associated Press.

 

1. The Daniel Pearl Award for Investigative Reporting

Newspapers and Wire Services

 

Winners (tie)
The Record
Under The Influence: Money In Trenton
Herb Jackson
Benjamin LesserThe New York Times
Death On The Tracks
Walt Bogdanich

 

Finalists
The Wall Street Journal
Series on terrorism financing
Glenn R. Simpson
Judges’ Comments:
In their 8-day series of investigative articles, Jackson and Lesser lay out in exhaustive detail the hidden connections between campaign contributions and lawmaking in Trenton. The series analyzed two years of contributions and hundreds of votes. The result is a stirring and artfully-presented expose of government compromised by special interests.The judges were equally impressed by Bogdanich’s series exposing how powerful, politically-connected railroads shirked their responsibilities in hundreds of fatal accidents. In a 15-month investigation aided by extensive computer analysis using 300 separately-designed programs, Bogdanich found that railroads systematically failed to report accidents and shifted the blame to the victims. As a result of the series, the Transportation department launched an investigation and charges are promised.

2. Beat Reporting

Newspapers and wire services

 

Winner
The Journal News
Stories on hospital consultant scam
Melissa Klein

 

Finalists
The Village Voice
Stories on New York state and city politics
Wayne BarrettThe Wall Street Journal
Stories on flaws in military equipment issued to U.S. soldiers in Iraq
Greg Jaffe
Judges’ Comments:
Klein, health reporter for The Journal News, is fearless in her pursuit of corruption in uncovering a scam that involved consultants to a local hospital charging exorbitant fees. Showing the ability to keep her distance and objectivity within a comparatively small beat and with cultivated sources, Klein mines her locality for the most colorful, challenging and relevant of stories. Consistently, she cuts through jargon and delivers medicalese in a prose style that keeps readers pinned until the very last word.

3. Feature Reporting

Newspapers and wire services

 

Winner
The New York Times
Stories on the elderly
N.R. Kleinfield

 

Finalists
The Village Voice
“Iraq’s Gravity Brings A Soldier Down”
Kareem FahimThe Wall Street Journal
Series on elderly caring for disabled children
Clare Ansberry
Judges’ Comments:
Death and elder abuse: subjects we shun, but that the author explores and relates in a compelling narrative. It is clear the writer didn’t simply report, but lived these stories. While maintaining appropriate distance, these pieces still give an intimate view of one lonely man’s final days and two elderly sisters driven to begging on the street by an abusive nephew. These stories moved us.

4. Spot News Reporting

Newspapers, Circulation over 100,000

 

Winner
The New York Times
Stories on McGreevey resignation
The New York Times Metropolitan staff

 

Finalists
The Record
Stories on McGreevey resignation
The Record staffThe Wall Street Journal
Stories on Kmart acquisition of Sears
The Wall Street Journal staff
Judges’ Comments:
In a story that no once could anticipate, the Times sprang quickly into action and told the story, in colorful, clear, concise and compelling style, of Gov. James McGreevey’s shocking fall. Follow-ups and sidebars added impressive detail and meaning to his decision to quit the governor’s office.

5. Spot News Reporting

Wire services

 

Winner
The Associated Press
Stories on Martha Stewart trial verdict
The Associated Press writers

 

Finalists
Bloomberg News
“Merck Pulls Vioxx Because of Heart Risks; Shares Fall”
Kristen Hallam
Kerry Dooley Young
John Lauerman
Judges’ Comments:
This is a classic example of traditional wire service handling of a breaking story with wide interest, developing swiftly from a bulletin to include the details, color and background needed to give it vibrancy and explain its significance.

6. Reporting

Newspapers, Circulation under 100,000

 

Winner
Herald News
“Burning Through Millions”
Kathleen Carroll

 

Finalists
Herald News
“Disability City, USA”
Carolyn FeibelHerald News
“Free Trade’s Fallout”
Andrea Gurwitt
Judges’ Comments:
This truly comprehensive examination of education funding and spending in Paterson, New Jersey does exactly what reporting should do. Kathleen Carroll followed the misspent public education money and found blithe disregard for the public trust. Only her detailed reporting of widespread malfeasance forced both the superintendent’s resignation and a real reckoning over the management of public school construction.

7. News, Series or Investigative Reporting

Magazines

 

Winner
Newsweek
Stories on Abu Ghraib interrogations scandal
Evan Thomas
John Barry
Michael Hirsh
Michael Isikoff
Daniel Klaidman

 

Finalists
Child
“Why Aren’t Parents Vaccinating Their Children?”
Hallie LevineFortune
“Why We’re Losing the War on Cancer (and How to Win It)”
Clifton Leaf
Judges’ Comments:
Newsweek’s series on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal reveals the extent to which the Bush Administration went in “writing new rules to fight a new kind of war.” The story was one of the most important of 2004, and the Newsweek team boldly provided much-needed insight into what helped pave the road to Abu Ghraib. These articles offer a very valuable public service. The series as a whole is a compelling example of the press’ vital role in checking and counterbalancing those in power.

8. Feature Reporting

Magazines

 

Winner
Harper’s Magazine
“The Resurrection Men”
Annie Cheney

 

Finalists
BusinessWeek
“I Can’t Sleep”
Arlene WeintraubNewsweek
“The Secret Lives of Wives”
Lorraine Ali
Lisa Miller
staff
Judges’ Comments:
Horrifying! Annie Cheney’s account is meticulously reported and compellingly written. She uses details to anchor scenes visually and then pushes the reader to visualize the entrepreneurial manipulation of corpses – their dismemberment, sale and use – as both gruesome and matter-of-fact. She backs up her narrative with research into history, literature and crime.

9. Web News Exclusive

Online

 

Winner
TheNation.com
“Why Bush Left Texas”
Russ Baker

 

Finalists
Newsday.com
“Yanks Trade For A-Rod”
Ken Davidoff
Jon HeymanBusinessWeek.com
Stories on Google’s initial public offering
Timothy J. Mullaney
Ben Elgin
Jim Kerstetter
Sarah Lacy
Will Andrews
Judges’ Comments:
Russ Baker’s “Why Bush Left Texas” questioned a sitting President’s version of details he had successfully brushed aside for years: whether he actually fulfilled his National Guard commitment. Baker’s broadly-sourced article brought some clarity to a muddy issue and drove debate on a critical topic at a critical time: amid the heat of a Presidential campaign. The story’s essay style fits well on the internet.

10. Arts Reporting

Specialized writing

 

Winner
Time
“Bad Boy of the School of Paris”
Richard Lacayo
Judges’ Comments:
Richard Lacayo skillfully evokes the aesthetic of Amedeo Modigliani’s artwork. His insightful and probing research places the artist in proper and sharp historical context. Lacayo captures the fury of a living Modigliani, juxtaposing the “Sturm and Drang” of the artist’s life with the serenity of his art. Lacayo’s prose is elegant, arresting and deeply satisfying to read.

11. Business Feature

Specialized writing

 

Winner
The Journal News
Stories on rising oil prices
Alan Drury

 

Finalists
BusinessWeek
“Americas Top Philanthropists”
Michelle Conlin
Lauren Gard
Jessi HempelThe Wall Street Journal
Stories on companies exaggerating the cost of retiree health care
Ellen E. Schultz
Theo Francis
Judges’ Comments:
Allan Drury’s package on the world’s finite oil supply was thoughtful, well-researched and provocative, without being shrill. Using geologists’ somewhat arcane disagreements over “peak oil” theory as a pathway into the main story, Drury delineates the American lifestyle that’s at stake in the debate about energy consumption. Will we develop alternative sources of energy in time to avoid a crisis? The story — indeed, the whole package, complete with strong graphics and sidebars — offers up many voices to weave a balanced, credible account that no doubt engaged readers rather than polarized them.

12. Business News, Series or Investigative Reporting

Specialized writing

 

Winner
Bloomberg News
Stories on investments by organizations Arafat controlled
Vernon Silver

 

Finalists
The Record
Stories on outsourcing of information-technology jobs to India
Hugh R. MorleyThe Wall Street Journal
Stories on Spitzer’s inquiry into Marsh & McLennan and other insurance brokers
Monica Langley
Theo Francis
Christopher Oster
Ian McDonald
John Hechinger
Judges’ Comments:
One reporter latched onto a murky, complex scheme involving Arafat’s hidden American investments and simply wouldn’t let go. Nor did he blink when Citigroup tried to intimidate him. A definitive account, exhaustively reported.

13. Opinion Writing

Specialized writing

 

Winner
The Record
Safe Haven Law for mothers
Jeffrey Page

 

Finalists
Harper’s Magazine
“Straw Votes”
Lewis H. LaphamTime
“Why the M Word Matters to Me”
Andrew Sulllivan
Judges’ Comments:
This year’s winner for the category of “Best Opinion Column” tackles a unique, controversial subject: young mothers disposing of their unwanted newborn babies. Jeffrey Page brilliantly uses several instances from years past to very moving effect. For whatever reason, on rare occasions, a young mother murders her newborn immediately after birth and literally throws away an innocent life. However, the woman is also throwing her own life away, because she will go to jail if caught. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The Safe Haven Law allows mothers to surrender their babies at any hospital emergency room or police station, no questions asked. Page’s deft, economical yet powerful prose gets straight to the heart of the matter, sending a chill down the spine. And he may have singlehandedly saved a child’s life.

14. Science, Technology, Medical or Environmental Reporting

Specialized writing

 

Winner
The Wall Street Journal
Series: War on cancer
Amy Dockser Marcus

 

Finalists
Time
“Scenes of the Teen Brain”
Claudia WallisBusinessWeek
“Global Warming”
John Carey
Judges’ Comments:
Amy Dockser Marcus’s series on cancer survivors paints an intensely human portrait of the so-called “war on cancer.” Through a collection of surprisingly candid profiles of cancer survivors, Dockser Marcus shows how new and bold treatments provide a better chance than ever of surviving cancer. But the series highlights the challenges these patients face: struggling marriages, high divorce rates, heart-wrenching decisions and children trying to return to normalcy. She gets survivors and their families to open up in ways that shine a rare light on how intensely emotional and confounding cancer treatment — and survival — can be in an age of dramatic medical advances.

15. Sports Writing

Specialized writing

 

Winner
The Journal News
“The Name Game: The Business of Autographs”
Janet Paskin

 

Finalists
The Record
Stories on recruiting for high school sports
Jeff RobertsBloomberg News
Stories on sports financing
Curtis Eichelberger
Judges’ Comments:
This was a great story idea, executed with near perfection. The choice of subject – the business of sports autographs – was especially appropriate because of the presence of a major autograph business within The Journal News’s circulation area. The series draws in the reader with compelling leads and good writing. The sidebars and audio link were excellent to. The series was a string of polished gems.

16. Spot News Photo

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
Time
Photos from “The Tragedy of Sudan”
James Nachtwey

 

Finalists
Time
Photos from “Chaos In Hati”
Antonin KratochvilTime
Photos from “Life In Iraq”
Yuri Kozyrev
Judges’ Comments:
James Nachtwey’s photograph of a family praying over the shrouded dead body of their infant girl, from his coverage of devastation in Sudan, has such a timeless visual impact that even the simple graphic image was able to convey a powerful and haunting impression of human emotion without actually showing the faces of the living and the dead.

17. Feature Photo

Photography and graphics

 

Winners
Time
“Three Amigos”
Christopher Morris
Sports Illustrated
“The Diver”
Bob Martin

 

Finalist
Time
“John Kerry”
Diana Walker
Judges’ Comments:
Bob Martin has done a fantastic job in his series of three images from the Paralympics in Athens. The juxtaposition of the swimmer taking a dive into the pool with his prosthetic limbs off, sitting on the opposite side of the frame, is so surreal that we had to take a second look. These images captures the high spirit of the amazing feat that these athletes with disabilities accomplish everyday. It inspired us greatly.Christopher Morris’s Three Amigos is not just another informal photo of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Rumsfeld addressing reporters at the ranch in Texas. Rather, three of the most powerful men in the western hemisphere were caught in a humorous caricature. The combination of their body language and facial expressions distills the critical impression many Americans hold about their leaders.

18. Sports Photo

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
Sports Illustrated
“After the Race”
Simon Bruty

 

Finalists
The Associated Press
“Grand Prix of Japan”
Koji SasaharaTime
“Rulon Gardner”
Adam Pretty
Judges’ Comments:
Scott Bruty’s photograph of athletes at the end of a grueling race shows a side of the competition that is rarely shown in sports photography. We saw many shots of amazing stop-action sports photography, but this picture is a special moment where we feel the after-effects of a sports competition. The athletes are photographed against the graphic lines of the track as if they are notes marked on a musical score – except this is the end of the finale and the players are exhausted.

19. Editorial Cartoon

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
The Journal News
“The Concert Pianist”
Matt Davies

 

Finalists
The Record
“McGreevey”
Jimmy MarguliesThe Village Voice
“Really, I’m Not One of Those Bad Republicans…”
Ward Sutton
Judges’ Comments:
Matt Davies’s cartoon shows Condoleezza Rice, who was White House National Security Adviser and was soon to become secretary of state, seated at the bench of a grand piano labeled “WHITE HOUSE FOREIGN POLICY,” poised to attack a keyboard with only one key. Ms. Rice, well known for her piano prowess, is about to plunge into a one-note performance. The cartoon drives home its point with superior artistic skill, clarity and impact.

20. Information Graphic

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
The Journal News
“Step By Step, Conjoined Aguirre Twins Move Toward Separation”
The Journal News staff

 

Finalists
Newsday
“Fueling Concern”
Rod Eyer
J. Stephen SmithNewsday
“Sudan’s Ethnic War”
Gustavo Pabon
Andrew Wong
Judges’ Comments:
In this large, detailed and colorful spread, The Journal News staff explains, in a way that words alone never could, how conjoined twins were to be surgically separated. The context and detail made this a story of medical innovation, rather than freak aberration, that has even been used by medical educators.

21. Page Design

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
Child
“Trying To Heal A Broken Home”
Sophie Blackall

 

Finalists
Newsday
“Battered”
Richard Loretoni
Judges’ Comments:
Clean layout with warm illustrations keeps a story about children and parents adjusting to divorce light and lively.

22. Spot News Reporting

Radio

 

Winner
CBS Radio News
“Ronald Reagan”
CBS Radio News staff

 

Finalists
CBS Radio News
“Arafat’s Death”
CBS Radio News staff
Judges’ Comments:
While President Reagan’s death from Alzheimer’s disease was anticipated, CBS Radio coverage was comprehensive and sensitive. It brought a scattered audience close to the event. Restrained yet complete, it’s illustrative of the power of the “older medium” to bring us in through word pictures composed by talented reporters.

23. Feature Reporting

Radio

 

Winner
WNYC
“Stonewall: The Mob, The Vice Squad, The Riots”
Soterios Johnson
Karen Frillman
Wayne Shulmister
John Keefe

 

Finalists
WNYC Radio
“The Ring & I: The Passion, The Myth, The Mania”
Jad Abumrad
Aaron Cohen
Elena ParkWNYC Radio
“Subway Centennial”
Beth Fertig
Wayne Shulmister
Andy Lanset
Judges’ Comments:
In June 1969 police officers in New York raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, igniting what became known as The Stonewall Riots and marking the first time any significant body of gays resisted arrest – the turning point for the modern gay rights movement. In “STONEWALL RIOTS,” the WNYC team sheds new light on the forces behind the revolt and its aftermath. Piecing together a montage of vivid eyewitness accounts, they allow the story to unravel in gripping fashion while illustrating the historic importance.

24. Series or Investigative Reporting

Radio
Winner
WNYC Radio
“Politics and Punishment On Rikers Island”
Andrea Bernstein
Judges’ Comments:
Andrea Bernstein’s industrious look into how Rikers Island prison guards were pressed into service on Republican political campaigns played a large part in producing change. She pored through pages of court documents and campaign finance records for her reports, and interviewed dozens of officials to probe deep into a political scheme that punished pro-Democratic guards for their so-called betrayal. Just weeks after the story aired, the main organizer of the scheme was indicted on 146 counts of grand larceny and violating conflict of interest laws.

25. Spot News Reporting

Television
No winners, no finalists

26. Feature Reporting

Television
Winner
News 12 New Jersey
“Bridging the Gap Between the System and the Streets”
Tom Layson and Henry Ramos

 

Finalists
News 12 Long Island
“Grodski’s Park”
Michael DelGiudice and Brei TravalenaNJN Public Television
“Clean Needles”
Sandra King
Judges’ Comments:
Tom Layson’s comprehensive report on the family dynamics of foster parents and kids is illuminating, realistic and hopeful. His in-depth interviews with responsible foster parents show the challenges and rewards of their commitment. The children’s touching comments about their lives before and after joining foster households demonstrate just what a necessary contribution foster parents make. This report encourages potential foster parents not to give up on the troubled Department of Youth and Family Services, but rather to focus on the good they can do.

27. Series or Investigative Reporting

Television

 

Winner
MSNBC
“John Kerry: Bringing the War Home”
Brian Williams and staff

 

Finalists
Fox 5 News
Story on foster care mismanagement
Mary Garofalo
Deb Fountain
Vincent MarianiMSNBC
“Hardball Special: 12 Missed Chances”
Lisa Myers and staff
Judges’ Comments:
This special report investigated the past to shed much-needed light on the recent present of the Presidential campaign. The MSNBC team combed various archives to find previously unseen memoranda, film footage and audio recordings that help tell the story of young John Kerry’s period of leadership of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and of President Nixon’s response. Many of the primary and supporting characters in 1971’s drama played major roles in the presidential campaign, and this report helped bring sense, rigor and narrative to the campaign media circus.

28. Business Reporting

Television

 

Winner
WNBC-TV
“Millionaire on the Run”
Jonathan Dienst

 

Finalists
Bloomberg News
“Funds Under Fire”
Erin Burnett
Brett Gering
Jennifer Geller
Ed Caldwell
Matthew WinklerNews 12 New Jersey
“It’s Your Money”
Tom Layson
Judges’ Comments:
“Millionaire on the Run” was a very thorough, top quality investigative report that hit home for thousands of employees and the shareholders of one of Long Island’s largest corporations. All were “taken to the cleaners” by a CEO who perpetrated an enormous fraud that ravaged the company, then fled the country before he could be charged. WNBC is to be applauded for spending the money and taking the time to track the fugitive to the Middle East and through Central to Northern Europe where they found him living in luxury. The story provided glaring evidence of how and why some
scoundrels manage to escape the law.

29. Minority Focus

Omnibus awards

 

Winner
The Record
“Pride and Problems” – series
Jean Rimbach
Miguel Perez

 

Finalists
MSNBC
“The Battle for America’s Schools”
Nina Alvarez
Laura Rabhan
Nancy Novack
Amy Seplin
Scott Hooker
Janet TobiasBusinessWeek
“Keeping Out the Wrong People”
Spencer E. Ante
Judges’ Comments:
This three-part examination of ethnic parades exposed the lack of oversight that allows parades to become private cash-cows. Money earmarked for the community comes pouring in but much of it simply evaporates. While the problems are widely known, few are willing to confront them, especially the politicians who use the parades as platforms for their own purposes. Jean Rimbach and Miguel Perez didn’t treat the ethnic community with kid gloves or as some peculiar new phenomenon, but jumped right in and exposed a problem in the midst of their own community. The articles fit the spirit of the category while meeting one of the highest journalistic values: changing the way readers think and behave.

30. The James Wright Brown Public Service Award

Omnibus awards

 

Winner
The Record
Stories on malpractice by doctors
Mary Jo Layton
Benjamin Lesser

 

Finalists
The New York Times
“How White House Embraced Suspect Iraq Arms Intelligence”
David Barstow
William J. Broad
Jeff GerthThe Journal News
Stories on mismanagement at Yonkers city hall
Rich Calder
Bill Hughes
Bruce Golding
In a series, The Record lamented the difficulty of weeding out the doctors who have significant medical malpractice histories. The Record sued in state court to make public payments by insurers for medical malpractice. The state medical society appealed to a federal court after a state judge ordered the information released. The Record won in federal court and posted the information on its website for the public to consult.

Spread the word. Share this post!