Awards Winners and Finalists Presented in 2006

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The Deadline Club is pleased to announce the winners in the 2006 Annual Awards Contest, which honors excellence in journalism in 2005. 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 Tuesday, May 23, 2006. The evening featured a keynote address by Bob Schieffer of CBS News.

 

1. The Daniel Pearl Award for Investigative Reporting

Newspapers and Wire Services

 

Winner
Russ Buettner, Heidi Evans, Robert Gearty, Brian Kates, Greg B. Smith, staff writers and Richard T. Pienciak, New York Daily News, “9/11 Money Trough”
Judges’ Comments
“Four years after the World Trade Center towers were vaporized and nearly 3,000 people perished, the Daily News assigned a team of reporters to follow the money trail. Where did the billions of dollars earmarked for relief, rebuilding and recovery go? After a four-month investigation, the Daily News uncovered multiple abuses in the use of federal recovery funds with millions of dollars spent on projects having nothing to do with 9/11. Using computer analysis and records research the Daily News showed how negligent government bureaucracy and exploitation by individuals of questionable character resulted in widespread waste, fraud and mismanagement. The Daily News says this disappointing outcome is part of a continuing investigation and we encourage the paper to continue the efforts.

 

Finalists
· Dunstan McNichol, Josh Margolin, Kelly Heyboer and Ted Sherman, The Star-Ledger, “McGreevey Backer’s $75,000 Deal,” “The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey”
· Staff, The Record, “Toxic Legacy”

2. Beat Reporting

Newspapers and wire services

 

Winner
Ellen E. Schultz, The Wall Street Journal, benefits reporter
Judges’ Comments
Ellen Schultz’s thorough and innovative coverage of the complex world of pensions exposes how federal benefits law has gradually shifted its protections from employees to the companies that employ them. Her writing illuminates what could be a mundane topic by combining well-researched reporting with compelling accounts of the effects these changes on people ranging from widows to former NFL players. By distilling arcane financial data into something easily understood she produces original and oftentimes surprising stories that not only explain complicated pension issues, but provide a service to readers.

 

Finalists
· Josh Margolin, The Star-Ledger, statehouse reporter
· Mohamad Bazzi, Newsday, Middle East correspondent

3. Feature Reporting

Newspapers and wire services

 

Winner
Steve Wick, Newsday, “The Last Potato Graders”
Judges’ Comments
What started as a nostalgic feature on Long Island’s potato-farming evolved into an extraordinary piece of investigative journalism. In the end the extraordinary work of Newsday‘s reporters reconnected two so-called invisible men with families they had lost. Starting with little more than names and faded memories, Newsday headed to Georgia, knocked on doors, dug through old records and ended up restoring the identities and family links to two workers who had been all but forgotten by society.

 

Finalists
· Clare Ansberry, The Wall Street Journal, “Lost and Found”
· Andrea Gurwitt, Herald News, “An American Dream: One Immigrant’s Story”
· Katie Thomas, Newsday, “Getting Away From Him”

4. Spot News Reporting

Newspapers, Circulation over 100,000

 

Winner
Staff and Dean Chang, New York Daily News, coverage of the New York City transit strike
Judges’ Comments
“In two dozen pages of stories and pictures, the Daily News covered every aspect of the first day of New York City’s transit strike with clarity and a dash of humor as millions of transit riders struggled to move about the city. The frustration of commuters, striking workers and public officials was brought to life in vivid detail and the Daily News showed the strikers effect on myriad parts of city life from businesses to schools. If it was moving (or wasn’t) the Daily News was there.”

 

Finalists
· Staff, The Record, “4 Children Die As Fire Races Through Teaneck House”
· Monica Langley, Theo Francis and Ianthe Jeanne Dugan, The Wall Street Journal, “Risk Management: How Investigations of AIG Led To Retirement of Longtime CEO”

5. Spot News Reporting

Wire services

 

Winner
Erik Schatzker, Gavin Serkin, Peter Robison, Ann Saphir, Walden Siew, John
Dooley, Otis Bilodeau and Malcom Shearmur, Bloomberg News, coverage of
Refco
Judges’ Comments
“Our judges were impressed with the amount of detail and clarity the Bloomberg reporters were able to squeeze into their stories under heavy deadline pressure. Their ability to craft six stories that were both informative and insightful within a 24-hour time-frame left us wondering whether there were any details for anyone else to report.”

 

Finalist
· Christina Cheddar Berk, Neal Lipschutz, Mary Ellen Lloyd, Maxwell Murphy,
· Aparajita Saha-Bubna and Tom Sullivan, Dow Jones Newswires, coverage of Procter & Gamble/Gillette merger

6. Reporting

Newspapers, Circulation under 100,000

 

Winner
Asjylyn Loder, Herald News, “Land Grab: Affordable Housing Plan Goes Awry”
Judges’ Comments
“The award goes to Asjylyn Loder’s investigative series exposing how corrupt Patterson, N.J., city officials steered land contracts to well-connected developers at the expense of the city’s working poor. Her reporting pinpointed, then followed up on what might have appeared to be small discrepancies, but which added up to a picture of government corruption. In addition to connecting the dots, her painstaking research made such a strong case that the city council voted to rescind the shady deals, only to later back down. The story didn’t end by cleaning up city hall, as we would have hoped. But it only proves how difficult it can be to crack entrenched cronyism. Loder did, getting inside through the kind of thorough document search and dogged interviewing that exemplifies the best in our profession. And we also commend The Herald News for committing so much of her time to the story — a commitment to enterprise journalism that yielded all finalists in this category.”

 

Finalists
· Tom Meagher and Suzanne Travers, Herald News, “A Temporary Life ­ — Low Wages, Strong Backs”
· Jaci Smith, Herald News, “Taxed Out: At the Breaking Point”

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7. News, Series or Investigative Reporting

Magazines

 

Winner
Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Time, “The Broken Promise”
Judges’ Comments
“A complex story told with compelling human examples. Donald Bartlett & James Steele delved into the lives of four women to show how the American dream of collecting a pension after a lifetime of work was taken away and how that dream will elude more middle-class workers in the years to come. A well-written, comprehensive look at a failed system and its impact on people’s lives.”

 

Finalists
· Liz Willen, Martin Z. Braun and Darrell Preston, Bloomberg Markets, “The Banks That Fleeced Alabama”
· David Evans, Michael Smith and Liz Willen, Bloomberg Markets, “Big Pharma’s Shameful Secret”

8. Feature Reporting

Magazines

 

Winner
Linda Tischler, Fast Company, “Join the Circus”
Judges’ Comments
“Linda Tischler provided a dazzling account on the world of Cirque du Soleil. She laid out the many acrobatic feats it took to build this powerhouse brand. Her soaring narrative zeroed in on a colorful landscape of characters with vision.”

 

Finalists
· John Cloud, Time, “The Battle Over Gay Teens”
· Nancy Gibbs and Nathan Thornburgh, Time, “The Class of 9/11″

9. Web News Exclusive

Online

 

Winner
Staff, The Journal News Web site, coverage of the New York City transit strike
Judges’ Comments
When MTA workers went on strike the week before Christmas and millions of New York commuters found themselves without their usual means of getting to work, the Journal News was all over the story. Its online coverage kept its readers both up-to-date and well-informed, with breaking news, features stories and indispensable information on getting into and out of New York. A news organization based in the New York suburbs, the Journal News reported on the strike negotiations between the MTA and the government and its effects on individual commuters and local businesses. Its coverage telescoped between these topics with great skill. In addition, the paper made excellent use of what online journalism has to offer — interactive features, regular updates, links to more information and room for a wide range of articles.

 

Finalist
· Harriet Ryan, Court TV Web site, “Murder In Room 103″

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10. Arts Reporting

Specialized writing

 

Winner
Lev Grossman, Time, “The Master of Illumination: Jonathan Safran Foer,” “J.K. Rowling Hogwarts and All,” “The Color of Grief”
Judges’ Comments
“Lev Grossman’s articles are funny, insightful and interesting. Taking a lookat Jonathan Safran Foer and J.K. Rowling, two influential modern authors, and Joan Didion, a true legend, Grossman’s writing and reporting offer unflinching looks into their souls that simultaneously illustrate their approach to the creative process called literature.”

 

Finalists
· Cathleen McGuigan, Newsweek, “A Problem With Authority,” “The DeYoung Is … de Lovely,” “A Light in the Piazza”
· Jeff Giles, Newsweek, “Lennon Lives”

11. Business Feature

Specialized writing

 

Winner
Pete Engardio, Manjeet Kripalani, Dexter Roberts, Brian Bremner, Steve Hamm, Bruce Einhorn, Frederik Balfour and staff, BusinessWeek, “China & India: What You Need To Know Now”
Judges’ Comments
“Everything an American investor ever wanted to know about China and India. A wide-ranging package of six “chapters” any one of which would be a good examination of its subject matter, with 21 articles. Great breadth and scope, clearly setting forth the unconventionally examined challenged that are faced.”

 

Finalists
· Mark Maremont, The Wall Street Journal, “JetGreen: The CEO’s Private Golf Shuttle”
· Prashant Gopal and Dave Sheingold, The Record, “Boom Or Bubble?”

12. Business News, Series or Investigative Reporting

Specialized writing

 

Winner
David Evans, Michael Smith and Liz Willen, Bloomberg News, “Big Pharma’s
Shameful Secret”
Judges’ Comments
“This series addresses subcontracted clinical trials. This series feels like journalism at its best — driven by the reporters’ curiosity, initiative and ultimately focused indignation over a system that exploits the most vulnerable for profit. The team never fails to get the other side but is unflinching in calling it the way they see it after what is clearly an enormous amount of reporting.”

 

Finalists
· David Welch, Dan Beucke and David Henry, BusinessWeek, “Why GM’s Plan Won’t Work”
· Barry Meier, The New York Times, “Guidant’s Flawed Medical Devices”

13. Opinion Writing

Specialized writing

 

Winner
Anna Quindlen, Newsweek, “The Culture of Each Life,” “The Good Enough Mother,” “Complex and Contradictory”
Judges’ Comments
At some point in each of these three columns, a judge said “Wow!” out loud, and probably her regular readers did, too, when the columns were published. Ms. Quindlen has a way of taking up a subject about which people care but differ-and about which many individuals may well feel the conflict of differing sides within themselves-and making complete sense of that subject with gifted, powerful writing that connects with her readers on a human level. This was evident in her columns about the entanglement of the federal government in the Terri Schiavo case, about the mourning of a pope “by millions who unapologetically acted contrary to his directives,” and about the desirability of avoiding the modern, high-pressure phenomenon of “manic motherhood.” Of cases like Schiavo’s, she writes of families who watched “someone they love…as the music of personality dwindled to a single note and then fell silent. They know life when they see it, and they know when it is gone.”

 

Finalists
· Ellis Henican, Newsday, “Just Try To Indict Him On His Age,” “Putting Death Penalty On Death Row,” “This Fatherhood Thing Is Getting Old”
· Jonathan Alter, Newsweek, “The Price of Loyalty,” “A Bankrupt Way to Do Business,” “If Watergate Happened Now”

14. Science, Technology, Medical or Environmental Reporting

Specialized writing

 

Winner
Geeta Anand, The Wall Street Journal, “The Most Expensive Drugs”
Judges’ Comments
Geeta Anand’s offered a fascinating and revealing account of the well-intentioned Orphan Drug Act, which was enacted to spur research for rare diseases by offering biotech companies a 7-year monopoly on the drugs reaching a limited market of patients. It was expected to earn the companies a modest profit. Instead, the act has created a multibillion-dollar industry while costing patients as much as $600,000 a year. The narrative presented one shocking revelation after another of the special privileges the biotech companies are granted under the act. Anand offered gripping accounts from patients, one wondering if her life was worth $1,400 a day, another who left a small company because healthcare costs for his son were driving up premiums for other employees.

 

Finalists
· Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review, “Bitter Pill”
· Peg Tyre, Newsweek, “Fighting Anorexia: No One to Blame”

15. Sports Reporting

Specialized writing

 

Winner
Juliet Macur, The New York Times, “In Two Arenas”
Judges’ Comments
“Juliet Macur’s ‘Two Arenas’ series of six articles about the role of sports in healing pain and loss of war. Powerful writing and superior reporting brought home the impact of the Iraq war from an unusual and deeply personal perspective, one that undoubtedly reached a great number of readers in a way that no other approach could have. To get her story, Ms. Macur traveled to Iraq, to military hospitals and to stateside military bases. In hours of interviewing, she drew out two former college women’s basketball stars, both of whom had lost arms in battle. She introduced readers to two high school football buddies who went off to war together, one of whom didn’t make it back. She wrote about athletes preparing to ship out exploits in sports gave them courage for what lay ahead, and about loved ones who waited and worried and coached their children back home. Through the hopes and fears and resilience of women and men in sports, Ms. Macur gave her readers an indelible glimpse of the culture of war and of the will and strength to recover from it.”

 

Finalists
· Jean Rimbach and Gregory Schutta, The Record, “Making Pay Play”
· Steve Hamm, BusinessWeek, “Game Boy”

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16. Spot News Photo

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
Thomas Dworzak-Magnum Photos, Michele Stephenson, MaryAnne Golon and Alice Gabriner, Time, “Ghost Town”
Judges’ Comments
The photo taken at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans garden district reveals the devastation of not only caused by the hurricane itself but also the severe crimes committed by petty criminals after a natural disaster. The striking image captures an infernal erupting at the Garden of Eden.

 

Finalists
· Philip Blenkinsop-AgencyVU, Michele Stephenson, MaryAnne Golon and Alice Gabriner, Time, “Pain”
· Eugene Hoshiko, Associated Press, “Indonesia Quake Tsunami Australia Aid”

17. Feature Photo

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
James Nachtwey/VII, Michele Stephenson and MaryAnne Golon, Time, “Global Health Crisis”
Judges’ Comments
James Nachtwey’s breathtaking portrayal of AIDS victims at a Buddhist hospice in Thailand, a hospital in India and of preparations for a funeral in Cambodia provide powerful and fresh coverage of a scourge sometimes greeted with shrugs by those who see it as unfixable. Using black and white images, he conveys the human toll of living with and eventually drying from AIDS without relying on overly graphic images.

 

Finalists
· James Nachtwey/VII, Michele Stephenson, MaryAnne Golon and Hillary Raskin, Time, “The Lucky Ones”
· Diana Walker, Michele Stephenson and MaryAnne Golon, Time, “Former Presidents”

18. Sports Photo

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
Charles Krupa, Associated Press, “Shattered Bat”
Judges’ Comments
In Krupa’s unusual photograph of a broken bat as it flies into the stands he shows the power that impeccable timing in sports photography — usually reserved for on-the-field shots — can have when the unexpected arises. The captivating picture demands a thorough examination of the expressions worn by the fans in Ft. Myers, Fla., as they react to the bat barreling toward them.

 

Finalists
· Paul J. Bereswill, Newsday, “Crash & Burn”
· Dan Hubbell, Sports Illustrated, “Rodeo”

19. Editorial Cartoon

Photography and graphics

 

No winner.

20. Information Graphic

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
Rod Eyer, Warner Sabio and J. Stephen Smith, Newsday, “The Bomb”
Judges’ Comments
“Six decades after the U.S. ended World War II with two atomic bombs, Newsday steps back in time to show, in vivid detail, the inception and impact of the nuclear era. With clear and powerful illustrations, artist Rod Eyer takes the reader inside “Fat Man” and “Little Boy,” and charts the detonation of those two bombs. It also shows how nuclear power is now shared by nearly a dozen countries. The work provides an intriguing look at a tragic time in history.”

 

Finalist
· Rod Eyer and Judy Weinberg, Newsday, “The War In Vietnam”

21. Page Design

Photography and graphics

 

Winner
Richard Loretoni, Newsday, “The Wounds of War That Don’t Heal”
Judges’ Comments
Newsday’s layout and treatment of type in the piece works well with the photo and appears to set the correct tone. We admired all the faces that they used as well as all the real estate devoted to the photo. The layout is rightly understated; they let the photo speak for itself. Also, the work showed strong continuity as the design shown on the front page made the beginning of the feature inside easy to find. Maintaining the font type and size makes the connection clear to the reader.

 

Finalists
· Joseph E. Baron, Paul J. Bereswill, Getty Images and Newscom, Newsday, “Big Bucks”
· Dean Markadakis, Lisa Kelsey, Fast Company, “Why We Hate HR”

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22. Spot News Reporting

Radio

 

No winner.

23. Feature Reporting

Radio

 

Winner
Carole Zimmer, Bloomberg Radio, “Berlin to Vineland”
Judges’ Comments
Zimmer takes us into the lives of the Wertheim family in New Jersey as they try to reclaim what their ancestors lost to the Nazis. A compelling, well-reported thoughtful piece, it shows the lasting effects of the Nazi regime more than 60 years later.

 

Finalists
· Rob Urban, Bloomberg Radio, “CBGB”
· Sara Fishko, WNYC Radio, “Recorded Live”

24. Series or Investigative Reporting

Radio

 

Winner
Beth Fertig, John Keefe, Karen Frillman and Wayne Shulmister, WNYC Radio, “Communication Breakdown”
Judges’ Comments
“Reporter Beth Fertig shows how poor technology and human error led to a fire in the subway system after emergency workers failed to respond to calls about a man thowing trash onto the tracks. Using audio clips recorded by a film student who was on a trapped subway car and through interviews of subway workers who out of desperation took matters into their own hands, Fertig’s piece shines a light a light on the problems New York’s police and fire fighters have trying to talk with each other and with other city personnel during times of crisis.”
No finalists.

 

25. Spot News Reporting

Television

No winners.

26. Feature Reporting

Television

 

Winner
Allan Chernoff, CNN, “Auschwitz Survivor”
Judges’ Comments
“Historic, heartfelt. Personal diary page from his family’s experiences in Auschwitz told with authority and compassion but not overly emotional. It maintained objectivity, clarity by letting good story telling convey the emotion with the human faces of the survivors.”

 

Finalist
· Elizabeth Hashagen and Michael DelGiudice, News 12 Long Island, “Achieving the Impossible”

27. Series or Investigative Reporting

Television

 

Winner
Walt Kane, Bill Schlosser and Anthony Cocco, News 12 New Jersey, “Elizabeth Police Misconduct”
Judges’ Comments
“News 12 reporter Walt Kane produced an investigative series uncovering years of police negligence and corruption in Elizabeth, N.J. In the highest traditions of investigative journalism, Mr. Kane exposes not only a simple case of misconduct but a much larger problem regarding the city government of Elizabeth. Mr. Kane’s expose has led to nearly two dozen officers facing charges, the demotion of three high-ranking officers and criminal investigations.”

 

No finalists.

28. Business Reporting

Television

 

Winner
John Meehan, Ed Caldwell, Antony Michels, Pat Sheridan, Marty Schenker, Gina Thompson, Suzanne O’Halloran, Leslie Gersing, Laura Lee, Mike Schneider, Carol Massar, Erin Burnett and Greg Miles, Bloomberg News, “GM: The Retooling of an American Icon”
Judges’ Comments
Bloomberg News takes a step back from the doomsday headlines about the wellbeing of General Motors to examine the company’s missteps and broader forces of global competion that have only raised the stakes for the company. The piece traces many of the well-documented troubles now facing the company to their beginnings decades ago. A deftly added human angle helps convey the enormity of the challenges the company faces and the frustrations and fears of those who build, sell and purchase the company’s vehicles.

 

Finalists
· Pat Sheridan, Danial Clark, John Meehan, Antony Michels, Marty Schenker, Gina Thompson, Suzanne O’Halloran, Laura Lee, Leslie Gersing, Lori Hoffman, Erin Burnett, Carol Massar, Deirdre Bolton and Greg Miles, Bloomberg News, “Mortgaging the Future: Risks and Rewards of the Housing Boom”
· Barbara Nevins Taylor, Chris O’Donoghue, Paul Tsakos, Jimmy Mitchell and Kathleen Coles, WWOR TV UPN 9, “Stolen Homes”

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29. Minority Focus

Omnibus awards

 

Winner
Elizabeth Llorente and Miguel Perez, The Record, “Out of the Shadows”
Judges’ Comments
In a series of stories, Elizabeth Llorente and Miguel Perez document the trap in which illegal immigrants from Latin America find themselves in the wake of U.S. government efforts to expel foreigners who had been deemed potential security treats, and the impact that this has on the broader Hispanic community in New Jersey. “Out of the Shadows” portrayed both the fear generated by late-night raids on the homes of illegal immigrants, as well as the frustrations of those who see these immigrants as lawbreakers.  The reporters delved into the reluctance by some local police officers to assist federal immigration agents, as well as the difficulty that young illegal immigrants face in their efforts to obtain an education. The Record’s coverage of these issues and more came long before election year trumpeting forced this discussion into the headlines and is both thorough and fairly reported.

 

Finalists
· Evan Thomas, Jonathan Alter, Ellis Cose, Barbara Kantrowitz and Karen Breslau, Newsweek, “Poverty, Race & Katrina, Lessons of a National Shame”
· Suein Hwang, The Wall Street Journal, “The New White Flight: In Silicon Valley Two High Schools With Outstanding Academic Reputations Are Losing White Students As Asian Students Move In”

30. The James Wright Brown Public Service Award

Omnibus awards

 

Winner
David Evans, Michael Smith and Liz Willen, Bloomberg News, “Big Pharma’s
Shameful Secret”
Judges’ Comments
The human drug testing mills revealed in this brilliantly reported and extremely readable piece are thoroughly dismaying and their exposure is a true public service. Reporters Smith, Evans and Willen show that poor people participate in clinical trials two earn significant paychecks, but are subject to shoddy medical monitoring and prison-like living conditions in the process. The results, bought by pharmaceutical companies from for-profit “institutional review boards,” are low-quality clinical trials and testers injured or killed on the road to bringing profitable new drugs to market.

 

Finalists
· Clifford J. Levy, Michael Luo and Richard Perez-Peña, The New York Times, coverage of Medicaid fraud in New York
· Elizabeth Moore, Newsday, “Fire Alarm”
· Staff, The Record, “Toxic Legacy”

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