Detroit News journalists honored by SPJ

The Detroit News

More than 25 Detroit News journalists were honored Wednesday at the annual banquet of the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Detroit News photographer Daniel Mears took first place in the News Photography category for his photo “Good Samaritans to the rescue” at the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists awards ceremony.

Earning first place-honors during the event at the San Marino Club in Troy were: News videographer/multimedia columnist Donna Terek for her "Donna's Detroit" reports; The News' philanthropy reporter, Jennifer Chambers, for her "DIA Executive Compensation" report in the Consumer/Watchdog Reporting category; health reporter Karen Bouffard for "Surviving through age 18 in Detroit" in the Explanatory Story category; designer Antone Amye in the Magazine Spread Design category for "Just getting started"; and photographer Daniel Mears in the News Photography category for "Good Samaritans to the rescue."

The Detroit News staff won first place for flood coverage last summer in the Spot or Breaking News category.

"Freeway or Lake?," by David Coates, shows the flooding on I-696 near Mound Road in Warren during last August's storms.

Taking second place were: Photographer David Coates in the News Photography division for "Freeway or lake" entry; photographer/videographer Elizabeth Conley in Localization of a National Story for "Small towns look to put the toxic past behind"; designer James Hollar for "Tournament of nastiness" in the Informational Graphics category and "Booty got bucks" in Feature Page Design; Amye in Cover Design for "Sheer success"; The editorial staff for "Detroit Rises" in Editorial Writing; and reporter Shawn D. Lewis in Localization of National Story for "Mixed greeting awaits border kids."

In Open Government, Lansing Bureau reporter Chad Livengood won second place honors for "Land's ties to family business rise to fore." In Sports Photography, Robin Buckson received second place for "Class D champions."

"Class D Champions," by Robin Buckson.

Third-place honors went to: Amye in Magazine Spread Design for "Keeping busy"; Mears in News Photography for "World Cup crusher"; photographer David Guralnick for "I can't look" in Feature Photography; business columnist Daniel Howes, Livengood and Washington Bureau chief David Shepardson in Explanatory Story for "Bankruptcy and Beyond"; former reporter and current News Assistant Features editor Steve Pardo in General News for "Water cutoff"; and Features writer Marney Rich Keenan for General Column.

For Feature Page Design, Hollar won third place with "Stand up for lemonade"; copy editor Steve Wilkinson for a series of headlines; and designer Jean Johnson for her Inside News Page Design of "Bankruptcy and beyond."

Also winning third place: Investigative team reporter Christine MacDonald in Investigative Reporting for "City landlords cash in on rent aid, ignore tax bills"; in Sports Photography, Conley for "The crack of the bat"; reporter George Hunter for Personality Profile, "Secret Life of Bob Bashara"; columnist Bob Wojnowski in Sports Column; and Presentation editor Rick Epps in Sports Page Design for "Nicklas Lidstrom."

Honorable mentions went to: Investigative team leader Joel Kurth in Consumer/Watchdog Reporting for "Jail guards are among Wayne Co.'s highest-paid"; deputy editorial page editor Ingrid Jacques for General Column; Kurth and Jacques for "Education Achievement Authority expenses raise questions" in Investigative Reporting; and copy editor Keith Roberts for Headline Writing. Detroit News staff also were cited in Spot or Breaking News for "Fresh Start for Detroit."

Four-year-old Kooper Richards, son of Grosse Pointe South girls basketball head coach Kevin Richards, buries his head in his hands as the team was trailing in "I Can't Look," by David Guralnick.

Lifetime Achievement awards were given during the event Wednesday to former Detroit News sportswriter Tom Gage and retired WXYZ-TV anchor Diana Lewis.

Gage told a story about how he got into sports. A cub reporter in 1971, he was transferred to sports after being involved in a car accident, breaking his hip and missing months of work. "I'm very proud of my achievement but I'm eternally grateful for my lifetime," he said.

Lewis' daughters, Donna and Glenda Lewis, honored their mom at the event.

"What a professional journalist means, my mom embodies that title," said Glenda Lewis, herself a WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) journalist.

Nathan Bomey of the Detroit Free Press won Young Journalist of the Year. Jennifer Dixon, also of the Free Press, was awarded Journalist of the Year.

Founded in 1909, SPJ is one of the oldest organizations representing journalists. The group works to promote high standards and ethical behavior. Its goals include training and providing tools to allow journalists to preserve the public's right to know.

"The Crack of the Bat," by Elizabeth Conley, shows Tiger Ian Kinsler's bat splintering as he hits an RBI single.