Local reporters win Excellence in Journalism Awards
Three Heritage Newspapers reporters swept the sports columnist category in the Society of Professional Journalists Detroit chapter's 2009 Excellence in Journalism Awards.
At a dinner held April 14 at the San Marino Club in Troy, Jana Miller, Mike Larson and Don Richter won first through third place, respectively, in the sports columnist category in print, Class B, with a circulation less than 100,000.
In addition, reporter Gerald LaVaute won third place for investigative reporting for his piece "Police Compensation Comparison."
LaVaute is a staff writer for The View in Belleville and The Milan News-Leader.
Miller, a former Saline and Milan sports reporter, is a copy editor and reporter for The Manchester Enterprise. Judges noted that all three of her entries were award worthy. They were "Hush, hush controversy brings sex into sports," "Academics and athletics can mix" and "Gender equity in sports."
Richter, a former sports reporter for The Chelsea Standard and The Dexter Leader, now covers sports for The Saline Reporter and The Milan News-Leader. His winning piece was his farewell column to Chelsea and Dexter readers.
Larson, a sports reporter for The Ann Arbor Journal, a new publication launched July 9, 2009, by Heritage Newspapers, won for his column "Medal More than Award." This is the first award produced from the A2 Journal. The other Heritage publications have a long history of winning journalism awards in the SPJ contest, as well as in the Michigan Press Association Better Newspapers Contest and Suburban Newspapers of America editorial contest.
This year's competition was judged by the North Central Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, SPJ Minnesota Pro Chapter and Chicago Headline Club.
More than 100 Excellence in Media awards were given to area journalists during the banquet.