The Baltimore Sun was named News Organization of the Year among large newspapers Friday and received awards for public service journalism, investigative reporting and its website in the annual Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association awards contest.
The Sun has been chosen News Organization of the Year nine times in the past decade among daily newspapers with a circulation of more than 75,000. The Washington Post won in 2008.
The Sun also won the association's annual James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award for using public records to reveal problems involving police misconduct and other issues. This marks the third year in a row The Sun has won the Keat Award.
"The quality of the reporting, graphics and illustration and packaging of the content raised The Sun's work above all of the other entrants," the association wrote. The judges "felt the Sun's 'effort was extraordinary' with a particular focus on crime and police."
Among large dailies, The Sun won 36 first-place awards Friday in categories including coverage of local government, education reporting, breaking news photography and website video. Eight winners were also named best in show, meaning they were considered the best among all circulation divisions.
Other newspapers that are part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group — including the Carroll County Times, the Capital, the Aegis and the City Paper — won 77 first-place awards, including eight that were best in show.
The Sun's first-place stories included coverage of the death of Korryn Gaines, who was fatally shot by Baltimore County police in her Randallstown home after a standoff; the "Shoot to Kill" series on gun homicides; the decision to drop charges against the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray; and an investigation into how juvenile offenders had been denied access to education services.
Other award-winning coverage included a story about how Baltimore's economic success is contributing to deep cuts to the city schools, a special section exploring "Retro Baltimore" and an editorial about the city's recovery from the 2015 riots.
The Sun's website, baltimoresun.com, won a best in show award, with judges remarking on its "great use of online capabilities for storytelling." The website previously won the award in 2014, 2011 and 2009.
The association named Baltimore Sun Media Group journalist Fatimah Waseem Rookie of the Year for her coverage of Howard County.
The winners were selected from nearly 2,100 entries in 51 categories. The best in show winners include:
•Erica L. Green, public service, for "Juvenile injustice" and in the education reporting category for "You can make it";
•Staff, continuing coverage, "Death of Korryn Gaines";
•Staff, general social media reporting, multimedia storytelling and best web video, "Shoot to Kill";
•Algerina Perna, general news photo, "Deputy funeral";
•Kevin Kallaugher, editorial cartoon, "SRB-Pugh."