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The Sun chosen as News Organization of the Year by regional press association

The Baltimore Sun was named News Organization of the Year among large newspapers on Friday and again received top awards for its public records efforts and its website in the annual Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association awards contest.

The Sun has been chosen News Organization of the Year every year since 2009 among daily newspapers with a circulation of more than 75,000.

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The Sun also won the association’s annual James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award, sharing the recognition with the Baltimore Brew for both organizations’ use of public records on police accountability stories. The judges said they were impressed by The Sun’s ability to “make the issue real; showing why people would care.” It’s the fifth year in a row The Sun has won the Keat Award.

For The Sun’s win in Website of General Excellence, judges said the site stood apart for its clear navigation and features that personalize the news organization’s reporters. The Sun has won this award six times since 2009.

The press association gave its inaugural “Courage in Journalism” award to Wendi Winters, the Capital-Gazette reporter who charged at a gunman who stormed the newspaper’s offices last summer. Winters and four others lost their lives, but her efforts helped six others survive. Winters’ fallen colleague Rob Hiaasen also posthumously won Best in Show in the category of feature or humor column.

The Capital won a total of eight best-in-show awards and 21 first-place awards.

Sun crime and courts reporter Tim Prudente won three “best in show” awards — for his column about his mentor Hiaasen; for his feature story on a Baltimore attorney defending the notorious drug lord, El Chapo; and for another feature on exploring the rise and fall of a Baltimore rowhouse that collapsed and killed a man.

Education reporter Talia Richman was named the “Rookie of the Year,” an award for new journalists, for her excellence and professionalism in reporting. In his recommendation letter, Sun publisher Trif Alatzas said Richman is “the whole package,” showing “passion for the work and empathy for her fellow man.”

Among large dailies, The Sun won 46 first-place awards. Sixteen winners also were named best in show, meaning they were considered the best among all circulation divisions.

The Sun won “best in show” awards for the following efforts:

>>Staff, news-driven special section: “Year in Review”

>>Photo staff, best photo gallery: “2018 Pictures of the Year”

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>>John McIntyre, online blog: “You Don’t Say by John McIntyre.”

>>Caroline Pate and Jonathan Pitts, best use of interactive media: “Map: Lynchings in Maryland.”

>>Jonathan Pitts, Karl Ferron, and Caroline Pate, news-driven multimedia storytelling: “Bringing a dark chapter to light: Maryland confronts its lynching legacy.”

>>Tim Prudente, feature story: non-profile: “Collapse: The Rise and Fall of a Deadly Rowhouse.”

>>Tracie Rawson and Leeann Adams, news page design: “Ray Lewis Hall of Fame section pages.”

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