by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) this week announced the recipients of its Excellence in Journalism Awards for their exemplary work.
NLGJA's Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster, recognize, and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBT community. In addition to special recognition awards, awards are presented for excellence in news writing, feature writing, opinion writing, local television, network television, radio, online, HIV/AIDS coverage, and student journalism.
The NLGJA 2012 Journalist of the Year is Michael Luongo, a freelance journalist, editor, and photographer and New York University adjunct professor who teaches travel writing. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Bloomberg News, CNN, National Geographic Traveler, Gay City News, The Advocate, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure, Details, Man About World, and other publications, with most of his travel writing and international correspondence work concentrating on the Middle East and Latin America.
One Excellence in Journalism Awards judge commented that Luongo 'gains amazing access to the Palestinian, Israeli, and Egyptian worlds. His ability to weave a narrative draws the reader in to his stories, be they about 'pinkwashing' in Israel, the difficulties of being Gay in Palestine, or what became of the out, Gay activists in Egypt's manifestation of the Arab Spring. He also shows versatility, reporting on both the Gay world for the mainstream media and on the lesser-known aspects of straight Arab society in Egypt and the just plain fascinating continued existence of Samaritans in Israel.'
Another judge noted: 'Luongo produces well-researched and sourced work that simply isn't done by many -even any -other news organizations. His travels potentially put him -and even his subjects -at risk as he pulls together his stories. His work focuses on many under-reported topics and underserved segments, especially of LGBT life.'
This year's Sarah Pettit LGBT Journalist of the Year Award goes to Lila Shapiro, a business writer at The Huffington Post. A judging committee member praised her: 'Shapiro shows a sophisticated understanding of sensitive topics -her story about life in Harlan County (and the alleged hate crime there) went far beyond any other story I have seen on the topic to get at the true nature of the people there and the complicated secrets they must keep. She is a careful observer watching the way a buff Gay man who seems fearless at first gets nervous on a drive out to where the focus of the story has been beaten. She's a fantastic reporter and clearly knows her own voice and spins a good story. Truly remarkable.'
The following are special recognition awards and awards for excellence in various news media and platforms.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS
Journalist of the Year Award
First: Michael Luongo, freelance
Second: Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed
Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBT Journalist of the Year
First: Lila Shapiro, The Huffington Post
Second: Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award
First: Oriol Gutierrez for 'Healing the Hurt,' POZ Magazine
Second: Diane Anderson-Minshall for a series in HIV Plus Magazine
Excellence in News Writing Award
First: Kate Sosin for 'Generation Halsted, A Special Windy City Times LGBTQ Youth Investigation,' with Erica Demarest, Bill Healy, and Tracy Baim
Second: Chris Johnson for a series on historic LGBT election wins, Washington Blade
Third: Timothy Cwiek for his coverage of the Nizah Morris case, Philadelphia Gay News
Excellence in Feature Writing Award
First: Mark Johnson for 'Uniquely Human: The Science of Gender,' Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Second: Joan Garrett McClane for 'A Tempest in My Soul: A Son's Secret Brings a Baptist Minister to His Knees,' Chattanooga Times Free Press
Third: Kathleen Wilkinson for 'Close to Her Heart: Glenn Close's Passion Project,' Curve Magazine
Excellence in Opinion/Editorial Writing Award
First: Kate Riley for a series of same-sex marriage editorials with Lance Dickie, Thanh Tan, and Sharon Pian Chan, The Seattle Times
Second: Sean Bugg for an opinion writing series, Metro Weekly
Third: Kerry Eleveld for 'Why Barack Obama Will Be a Better Progressive in His Second Term,' The Atlantic
Excellence in Online Journalism Award
First: Blake Ellis for a series on same-sex couples' financial challenges, CNN Money
Second: Alissa Bohling, for 'Transgender, Gender-Nonconforming People Among First, Most Affected by War on Terror's Biometrics Craze,' Truthout
Third: Michael Luongo for 'Gay Palestinians Caught in the Middle of Conflict,' Global Post
Excellence in Multimedia Award
First: Olivia Ford for the video series 'A Day in the Life,' with Mark S. King, Becky Allen, and Kellee Terrell, TheBody.com
Excellence in Photojournalism Award
First: Preston Gannaway for 'Teddy Ebony as a Young Man,' The Virginian-Pilot
Second: Scott A. Drake for 'Gay Blades,' Philadelphia Gay News
Excellence in Student Journalism Award
First: Sarah Fournier for 'Transition Leads to Joy,' Pavement Pieces
Second: Alissa Brouillet for 'The LGBT Mind,' with Adam Ilenich, Kellie Rowe, Marcela Salvador, and Justin Wan, Media Garden
Excellence in Network Television Award
First: David Corvo for 'Golden Star,' with Kate Snow, Charmian Ling, Meghan Frank, and Beverly Chase, NBC Universal
Second: Tommy Nguyen for 'Josie's Story,' with Hoda Kotb, Allison Orr, Nicholas Capote, and Liz Cole, NBC Universal
Excellence in Local Television Award
First: Joe Fryer for 'Same-Sex Marriage in Washington,' with Jeff Christian, KING-TV
Excellence in Radio Award
First: Julia Scott for 'Bon Voyage,' KALW 91.7 FM
Second: Bob Mondello for 'Hollywood's History of Putting Gay Rights on Trial,' with Sara Sarasohn and Sami Yenigun, NPR All Things Considered
Awards will be presented August 24 during the NLGJA Awards Reception at Boston: Uncommon, the 2013 NLGJA National Convention and 9th Annual LGBT Media Summit. For more information on the convention in Boston, visit www.nlgja.org/2013/.
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION
NLGJA is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators, and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members. For more information on the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, visit the NLGJA website at www.nlgja.org.
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