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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Armstrong’

And the Envelope Please…Finalists for Michael Kelly Award


Atlantic Media has announced four finalists for the 2010 Michael Kelly Award.

The $25,000 award will be given at a ceremony at the company’s Washington, D.C. headquarters on April 18. The award was created in honor of Michael Kelly, who was editor of two Atlantic Media publications, The Atlantic and NJ and was killed while covering the war in Iraq in 2003.

Chosen from a field of 50 entries, finalists are:

1. Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian, LAT
Based on five months of tenacious reporting, Bensinger and Vartabedian chronicled the problem of unintended acceleration in Toyotas. As LAT Editor Russell Stanton wrote in his nomination letter, Bensinger and Vartabedian “challenged assumptions, developed their own evidence and built a compelling case of corporate malfeasance and regulatory indulgence.”

2. Sheri Fink, ProPublica
Who should be saved first when disaster strikes? That’s the question that doctors and nurses at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans faced in the harrowing days after Hurricane Katrina when scores of patients were trapped in a building without electricity or running water. In “The Deadly Choices at Memorial,” ProPublica writer and medical doctor Sheri Fink reconstructed the decisions that resulted in some patients being injected with lethal doses of morphine as others were boarded onto rescue helicopters.

3. Jeffrey Gettleman, NYT
As the East Africa correspondent for NYT, Gettleman has tracked the spread of Islamic radicalism, interviewed pirate bosses in Somalia (one of whom laughed that their lunch together was like “the cat eating with the mice”) and described how mass rape of women and men has become a weapon of war in eastern Congo. He’s been shot at by insurgents and dealt with the constant risk that his reporting will put him in harm’s way.

4. David Rohde, NYT
Rohde described how he and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped by the Taliban outside Kabul and held for seven months before he and one of his colleagues escaped on foot to a Pakistani military base. Rohde was initially reluctant to write about his experience, telling his editors, “I donÂ’t want to make myself look like a hero. I am not a hero.”

Five judges comprised the selection panel:

Ken Armstrong, The Seattle Times

Siobhan Gorman, WSJ

Charlie Green, NJ

Kathy Kiely, USA Today

Cullen Murphy, VF

More information, including full entries and past winners, visit here.

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A Call for Entries for Michael Kelly Award

mk-4.jpeg Journalists can now apply for the Michael Kelly Award, which honors writers and editors at U.S.-based newspapers and magazines whose work “exemplifies a quality that animated Michael Kelly’s own career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth,” states a release.

Atlantic Media Company created the award to honor Kelly, who died in 2003 while covering the war in Iraq. Kelly was the editor of two Atlantic Media publications, The Atlantic and National Journal.

Among those who have won the award: Seattle Times reporters Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry in 2009 for their series exposing the criminal histories of a Rose-Bowl winning football team; Loretta Tofani in 2008 for her series “American Imports, Chinese Deaths” written for The Salt Lake Tribune; C.J. Chivers in 2007 for a story in Esquire magazine called “The School” an account of the 2004 Belsan school Massacre;

The deadline for entries is February 1, 2010. A prize of $25,000 will go to the winning entry. Each finalist will receive $3,000.

Visit for entry guidelines and forms.
For questions, call Charles Green at 202-739-8417 or write him at

To read articles by Michael Kelly, visit

Seattle Times Reporters Win Atlantic Award

Seattle Times reporters Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry are this year’s recipients of the Michael Kelly Award for their series exposing the criminal histories of members of a Rose Bowl-winning University of Washington football team.

The award was presented by Atlantic Media Company chairman David Bradley at a dinner last night at Atlantic’s headquarters.

In a statement, the award judges said Armstrong and Perry displayed “the commitment to truth that will alienate readers, risk advertising accounts, and jeopardize a newspaper’s standing during already precarious times.”

From the release: the $25,000 award is given annually to a journalist whose work exemplifies a quality that animated Kelly’s own career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth. Kelly, who was the editor of two Atlantic Media publications, The Atlantic and National Journal, was killed while covering the war in Iraq in 2003.

Finalists included NYT‘s Barry Bearak and Celia Dugger, Fast Company’s Richard Behar and Vanity Fair‘s Peter Godwin. And judges included NJ’s Carl Cannon and Charles Green, Army Times’ Kelly Kennedy (also a Michael Kelly Award finalist last year), VF’s Cullen Murphy and freelance writer Loretta Tofani, (last year’s winner of the Michael Kelly Award).