For the second year in a row, reporters from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Bloomberg News took the top prizes in the Institute on Political Journalism annual journalism awards. Student reporters from The GW Hatchet and The Daily Pennsylvanian took top honors in the collegiate category. The first place winners took home a cash prize of $2,500 and a bronze eagle trophy.
TFAS presented the awards during its annual Journalism Awards Ceremony at the National Press Club on Friday, June 20. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the “Freedom and the Future: 47th Anniversary Annual Conference.” TFAS supporters, alumni and more than 50 current IPJ students attended the ceremony where award recipients gave encouraging words of advice to the future journalists in the audience.
Director of U.S. Programs and IPJ Joe Starrs welcomed guests and advised students in the audience to learn from the day’s award recipients. “Today’s winners are an excellent example of what it means to be a solid journalist,” said Starrs.
Tim Carney, senior political columnist with The Washington Examiner and a 2003 Novak Fellow, presented the 2014 Excellence in Collegiate Reporting Awards.
First place was presented to reporter Jeremy Diamond from George Washington University’s independent school newspaper, The GW Hatchet. Diamond won with three separate entries. The first story dealt with allegations that George Washington University (GW) officials misrepresented their admissions and financial aid polices for years. The other two entries looked at GW’s efforts to help veterans and the growing clout of fraternities on campus. Diamond told his fellow collegiate journalists to always be prepared. “Sometimes the best stories come when you least expect it,” he said.
The second place award was presented to Sarah Smith, a reporter from the University of Pennsylvania’s The Daily Pennsylvanian. Smith’s entry shed light on shortcomings of how the university handled students who are alleged victims of sexual assault and who experience mental health problems, as well as the bureaucracy that students must navigate after an unexpected break in academic work due to the assault.
The 2014 Excellence in Economic Reporting Award was presented to a team of reporters from Bloomberg News for their seven-part series on the brave new world of “Big Data” software services. This annual award was created to encourage reporting that understands free market economic principles and their impact on policies and markets. John Merline, senior writer for Investor’s Business Daily, presented the award to lead reporter Aki Ito. In the award winning series Ito, along with reporters Jeff Kearns, Craig Torres and Ilan Kolet, explored how technology is transforming the economy, bringing about changes in hiring, spending and investment decisions-even the efficacy of Federal Reserve policy.
The 2014 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting was awarded to John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for their hard-hitting series “Backfire” which uncovered deep flaws and a profound lack of government oversight in undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives stings across the country. The award is named in honor of late Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter Clark Mollenhoff who conducted groundbreaking investigations into the influence of organized crime in American society. His work led to successful crackdowns on labor racketeering and Teamster Union corruption. Mollenhoff was a professor of journalism at Washington and Lee University and was the director of the Institute on Political Journalism at the time of his death.
TFAS was pleased to have Fox News Channel Producer Lucas Tomlinson present the award in honor of his father, the late Ken Tomlinson. Ken was a longtime judge of the Mollenhoff Award, and a former editor of Reader’s Digest during the publication’s prime. Ken presented the Mollenhoff Award during last year’s Journalism Awards Ceremony.
Congratulations to our 2014 award recipients. To learn more about the Institute on Political Journalism Awards, visit www.TFAS.org/IPJAwards.