The Baltimore Sun was named Newspaper of the Year — and its website also took top honors — in the 2014 editorial contest results announced Friday by the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.
The Sun has been chosen Newspaper of the Year nine times in the past 10 years. The Washington Post won in 2008.
The James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award, named for a former Sun editor, was awarded to The Sun for its pursuit of public records to disclose "police misconduct, problems in state-run group homes and other issues."
Several of the winning Sun articles cited had previously won national awards. Reporting by the Sun's staff after the January 2014 shooting deaths of two store employees at The Mall in Columbia won "Best of Show" on Friday for spot news. The coverage earlier earned the Baltimore Sun Media Group a first-place National Headliner Award from the Press Club of Atlantic City.
Sun cartoonist Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher, a Pulitzer Prize finalist last month won the top award Friday for a cartoon on voter turnout. He also won the 2015 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning for his work in The Sun and The Economist.
Sun reporter Mark Puente earned a "Best in Show" for daily series and won two second-place awards — for public service and investigative reporting — for "Undue Force," which detailed brutality and misconduct in the Baltimore Police Department. The series previously won the Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award for reporting on racial or religious hatred, intolerance or discrimination from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and was a finalist in the Investigative Reporters & Editors contest.
The top public service award was given Friday to the News Journal of Wilmington, Del., for reporting on a deadly heroin crisis. The top investigative reporting award went to The (Salisbury) Daily Times for work on the high cost of obtaining many public records.
The Sun won Newspaper of the Year for daily papers with a circulation of 75,000 or more. Winners in the other circulation divisions were the Frederick News-Post, the Carroll County Times, The Aegis, the Washington Business Journal and the Baltimore Business Journal. Both the Carroll County Times and the Aegis, which covers Harford County, are owned by the Baltimore Sun Media Group.
Nearly 2,000 entries from the region were submitted in 48 categories. A sister association, the Texas Press Association, did the judging. Publications were divided into six divisions based on circulation. Including second places, The Sun earned 47 awards overall in addition to the Newspaper of the Year and Keat awards.
"Our newsroom is filled with talented journalists who care deeply about making this news organization the best it can be each day," said Trif Alatzas, The Sun's executive editor. "To see their work recognized in this way is a testament to their passion for providing the most comprehensive news coverage in the Baltimore region."
Twelve of The Sun's 22 first-place winners also were named "Best of Show," which means they were deemed the best across all circulation divisions.
•Erica L. Green, Luke Broadwater and Scott Calvert, local government category, for "Painful Lessons," reporting on workers' compensation claims by city teachers hurt by students (the work also won the national Education Writers Association's award for investigative reporting);
•Lloyd Fox, photo series, for "Underwater Fashion";
•Baltimore Sun staff, sports story, for Orioles playoffs coverage;
•Alison Knezevich, feature profile, for "On the Job (and Under the Radar)"
•Jay Judge and Lloyd Fox, Page 1 design, for the Preakness.
•Leeann Adams and Lloyd Fox, feature page design, for "Style to Spare";
•Adam Marton, interactive media, for "Comparing the 'Health' of Baltimore Neighborhoods":
•Baltimore Sun staff for general website excellence;
•Lou Spirito, informational graphics, for "The Kubiak Offense."
Earlier this year, several Sun staffers won other national awards.
Reporter Andrea McDaniels' "Collateral Damage," a three-part series chronicling the impact of violence on Baltimore residents, won first in the Public Health category of the Association of Health Care Journalists' Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism and was among the winners of the James Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism. It also received honorable mention from the Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, awarded by Columbia's journalism school, and was a finalist for the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation journalism award.
TV and media critic David Zurawik was named a finalist in the Best Commentary category of the Mirror Awards, to be presented by Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in June.
The Associated Press Sports Editors contest awarded Top 10 recognition to The Sun's sports department for an Orioles special section, to reporter Childs Walker for his coverage of horse racing, and to reporter Justin Fenton for an article on Ray Rice's arrest in Atlantic City, N.J. In addition, The Sun's sports website received honorable mention.
The Society of News Design recognized the online presentations of "Undue Force" and "Painful Lessons" with Awards of Excellence. Among those involved in creating the presentations were Adam Marton, Kalani Gordon, Greg Kohn and Emma Patti Harris.