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WHCA Announces 2007 Award Winners

From the release:

    The New York Times, ABC News, U.S. News & World Report, and The San Francisco Chronicle have won the top journalism awards for 2007 presented by the White House Correspondents’ Association. The winners will be honored at the annual WHCA dinner April 21 in Washington.

    MERRIMAN SMITH AWARD

    David Sanger of The New York Times won for deadline reporting in print journalism. His piece about North Korea’s testing of a nuclear device “provided terrific context on a breaking news story,” the award judges wrote. “Sanger’s reporting was complete and multi dimensional. He gave important background about the economic, political, and scientific impact of the test. The story broke late on a Sunday night. Sanger managed to have a page one story Monday morning that gave the readers all they needed to know to understand what this historic event meant, including challenges for the Bush administration.”

    Martha Raddatz of ABC News won for deadline reporting in broadcast journalism. “Martha Raddatz broke the story about the death of al Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi in the middle of the night,” the judges said. “She continued to report the story all day, expanding the piece as she learned more from her sources. The story that aired on ABC World News gave viewers the context they needed to fully understand what happened. Through the masterful use of graphics and animation, this complicated story came alive for the viewer. It demonstrates how television can make a complex story compelling.”

    ALDO BECKMAN AWARD

    Kenneth T. Walsh of U.S. News & World Report won the competition for coverage of the presidency throughout 2006. The judges said they “were impressed with his deeply reported pieces that provided fresh framing and enormous historical perspective. In a critical year, he got beyond pack journalism and spin to give a nuanced understanding of the Bush presidency.” The Beckman Award is given for repeated excellence in White House reporting.

    Thomas M. DeFrank of The New York Daily News won honorable mention for “his exclusive reporting as well as his ability to pack lively analysis into compact spaces.”

    EDGAR A. POE AWARD

    Joan Ryan of The San Francisco Chronicle won for what the judges described as “her powerful account of the difficult life adjustments facing two veterans who returned from Iraq with limbs missing. Ryan’s reporting and writing were so vivid that the judges felt we were living with the two men, yet her stories were disciplined and straightforward, not maudlin.”

    Each award carries a cash prize.

    Coordinating the judging was Ellen Shearer of Medill School of Journalism. Judges included Mary Coffman, Ron Cohen, Phillip Dixon, Lee Huebner, Jackie Judd, Wes Pippert, Jan Schaffer, and Lee Thornton.

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