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A reporter’s unflinching look at her own cancer treatment, rendered in a podcast in her own voice. The continuing fallout from the Bridgegate scandal. The disturbing grip that heroin continues to have over too many New Jerseyans.
Those stories are among the many outstanding pieces produced by Garden State journalists in 2015 that will be honored June 11 at this year’s New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists annual Excellence in Journalism Awards program and brunch at the Maize Restaurant at the Robert Treat Hotel, 50 Park Pl., Newark. The keynote speaker will be Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center. A complete list of our winners can be found here. Click here to RSVP.
This year’s contest included more than 50 categories, from headline writing to photojournalism to investigative reporting. It covered the entire spectrum of the industry: print, digital, radio, television, magazines, newsletters and photojournalism.
Standouts include The Chemo Files, a podcast produced by reporter Debbie Galant and her son, Noah Levinson. The series won first place in the podcast category. Beautifully told in a first-person narrative, it chronicles Galant’s eight-month ordeal with chemotherapy and never loses sight of the personal while taking on such topics like the science behind her treatment and the taboo behind the words “breast cancer.’’ The series can be found on MidcenturyModernmag.com, an online magazine Galant founded and publishes.
Other top winners include:
MATT KATZ of WNYC is this year’s New Jersey Journalist of the Year. Katz was selected from among all of our winners because his tenacious reporting on Bridgegate and Gov. Chris Christie set the standard for coverage of an important statewide and national story that promises to continue to dominate headlines.
Katz’s work is best described by his boss Nancy Solomon, managing editor of New Jersey Public Radio, who says his stories demonstrate “his dogged determination, investigative skills and a passion for transparency and open records.’’ Katz’s output in 2015 included not just the stories he did for WNYC but also a book on Christie. A sampling of his radio reports can be found here, here and here.
CHARLES KRATOVIL of the hyperlocal website New Brunswick Today is the winner of our Stuart and Beverley Awbrey Award for community service by a local publication. The Awbrey honors the weekly or local online publication that goes beyond standard reporting of local events, instead seeking to inspire communities to better themselves.
New Brunswick Today is being honored for a series of stories it called Watergate — except unlike the original Watergate, this one involves actual water. The mainly web-based independent news operation (it publishes a monthly print edition) engaged in a relentless inquiry into the operations of New Brunswick’s water treatment plant, ofttimes putting itself at odds with city officials.…