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Michael Kelly Award Finalists Announced

mkaward09.pngThe Atlantic Media company has announced the finalists for the 2009 Michael Kelly award. The award was created by Atlantic chairman David Bradley in honor Michael Kelly who had held positions as editor of both The Atlantic and National Journal and was killed in 2003 while covering the war in Iraq.

The prize awards “a journalist whose work exemplifies the fearless pursuit and expression of truth that animated Kelly’s own career.” The finalists this year include reporters from the Seattle Times, The New York Times, Fast Company, and Vanity Fair. Full release and further details after the jump.

Washington D.C. – The Atlantic Media Company today named journalists from Fast Company, The New York Times, The Seattle Times and Vanity Fair as the finalists for this year’s Michael Kelly Award. The winner of the $25,000 prize will be named at an April 16 ceremony in Washington.

The Michael Kelly Award was created by Atlantic Media Company Chairman David G. Bradley after Kelly’s death while covering the war in Iraq in 2003. Kelly had been editor of two Atlantic Media publications, The Atlantic and National Journal. The Michael Kelly Award is bestowed annually upon a journalist whose work exemplifies the fearless pursuit and expression of truth that animated Kelly’s own career.

The finalists were selected from a total of 50 entries from journalists at U.S.-based newspapers and magazines for work published in 2008.

This year’s finalists are:

* Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry of The Seattle Times for a series exposing the criminal histories of players on the last University of Washington football team to win the Rose Bowl.
* Barry Bearak and Celia Dugger of The New York Times for coverage of the rigged presidential election in Zimbabwe.
* Richard Behar of Fast Company for an article on China’s growing appetite for mineral resources in Africa.
* Peter Godwin of Vanity Fair for coverage of Robert Mugabe’s reign of terror in Zimbabwe

Five judges comprised this year’s Michael Kelly Award selection panel: Carl Cannon, contributing editor, National Journal; Charles Green, editor, National Journal; Kelly Kennedy, staff writer, Army Times and a 2008 Michael Kelly Award finalist; Cullen Murphy, editor at large, Vanity Fair; and Loretta Tofani; a freelance writer and the 2008 winner of the Michael Kelly Award.

Past winners of the award include C.J. Chivers, Esquire; Sharon LaFraniere, The New York Times; Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times; and Anthony Shadid, The Washington Post.

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