The Capital Gazette and The Baltimore Sun have been recognized with a national breaking-news award for their coverage of the June 28 shooting that killed five Capital employees.
The News Leaders Association — the new organization that encompasses the American Society of News Editors and Associated Press Media Editors — announced the winners of their 2019 News Leaders Association Awards on Tuesday.
The staff of the Capital Gazette and The Baltimore Sun jointly won the Al Neuharth Breaking News Reporting Award for their coverage of the attack on the Capital Gazette newsroom that killed Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.
The award represented one of 11 categories in the inaugural News Leaders Association Awards. The awards combine more than three decades of annual honors presented by the American Society of News Editors and Associated Press Media Editors, which joined forces this year to become the News Leaders Association.
“The journalists put their mission above their misery to inform the public, honor their fallen friends, and still somehow ‘put out a damn paper,’” the judges wrote in an announcement of the awards. “The work they produced lived up to the highest standards of breaking news reporting while covering a horrific tragedy in their own work place, their own lives.”
The NLA Awards judges gave special recognition to the Capital Gazette staff, which “did stellar work that day and have continued to do so in the weeks and months since the tragedy as they honor those who lost their lives on June 28.”
This year, the contest received 526 entries, which were narrowed to 49 finalists. The Capital Gazette staff was also among the finalists for the Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership and the Visual Journalism Award.
Capital staffers were chosen as part of Time magazine’s latest Person of the Year, dubbed “The Guardians and the War on Truth.” And editor Rick Hutzell accepted the National Press Foundation’s Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year award in February.
The Maryland General Assembly unanimously voted last month to designate June 28 as “Freedom of the Press Day” to honor the fallen Capital employees.