by Chuck Colbert
CHICAGO — The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) lauded the winners of its 2014 Excellence in Journalism Awards at the group’s annual convention in Chicago on August 23. A number of the recipients are members from LGBT media.
In addition to special recognition, awards were presented for excellence in blogging, HIV/AIDS coverage, news writing, feature writing, opinion/editorial writing, online journalism, multimedia, photojournalism, student journalism, local television and radio.
The 2014 NLGJA Journalist of the Year is Chris Geidner, senior legal and political reporter for BuzzFeed. “Geidner wrote pieces that soared above policy and law, bringing us ‘Edie and Thea,’ and how their story wove into a decades-long civil rights struggle,” wrote one judge. “He added context from a dual profile of Evan Wolfson and Andrew Sullivan.”
Geidner was awarded the Sarah Pettit LGBT Journalist of the Year Award in 2012, he was runner up for the 2013 NLGJA Journalist of the Year, and his 2011 series on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell won for Excellence in News Writing.
The 2014 Sarah Pettit LGBT Journalist of the Year Award went to Lila Shapiro, a reporter for the Huffington Post. This is the second year in a row Shapiro has won this award. A judge praised: “This is a beautifully executed body of work. In the case of the conversion therapy and the gay bar stories, this contestant shows us how social and governmental power brokers work to undermine our community.”
The Sarah Pettit Memorial Award, named for the late Newsweek journalist and founding editor of Out magazine, honors the LGBT Media Journalist of the Year.
The following are awards for excellence in print/online and broadcast categories:
Excellence in Blogging
First: Mark King for “My Fabulous Disease”
Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award
First: David France for “How to Survive a Plague”
Second: Steve Blanchard for “Chasing the Bug”
Excellence in News Writing Award
First: Timothy Cwiek for coverage of Nizah Morris case
Second: Beth Hawkins for “Same-sex marriage, Minnesota and the Supreme Court: an FAQ for the befuddled”
Excellence in Feature Writing Award
First: Gabriel Arana for “Solider without a War”
Second: Melissa Griffiths for “LGBTQ in the Capital” (series)
Third: Beth Schwartzapfel for “Little Boxes”
Excellence in Opinion/Editorial Writing Award
First: Tracy Baim for “The content of our character: Trayvon and us”
Second: Gail Shister for “Is Your Husband Gay?”
Third: Steve Friess for “My Turn as a Target of ‘God Hates Fags’ Preacher Fred Phelps”
Excellence in Online Journalism Award
First: Dani McClain for “Being ‘Masculine of Center’ While Black”
Excellence in Multimedia Award
First: Michelle Garcia for “The State of Pride in Sports”
Excellence in Photojournalism Award
First: D. David Robinson and Sunnivie Brydum for “We Are Here, LGBTI in Uganda”
Excellence in Student Journalism Award
First: Samuel Nemir Olivares Bonilla for “Boston Groups Reach Out to LGBT Youth of Color”
Excellence in Local Television Award
First: John-Carlos Estrada for “Bar Kicks Out Gay Couple for Dancing”
Excellence in Radio Award
First: Emma Jacobs for “One Gay, Binational Couple’s Story — and Hopes — As Supreme Court Decision Nears”
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.
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