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The Sun named news organization of the year by Md.-Del.-D.C. press group

The Sun wins annual freedom of information award for investigations into the death of Freddie Gray

The Baltimore Sun was named News Organization of the Year on Friday among daily papers with a circulation over 75,000 in the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association awards contest.

The Sun also won the association's annual James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award for "using public records to give readers answers about the death of Freddie Gray." The West Baltimore man died last year after suffering injuries in police custody.

"The Sun's reporting provided the most in-depth analysis of issues surrounding Gray's death and allegations against police," the association wrote. "Eventually, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a Civil Rights investigation into the police department, expanding a review that began in response to the Sun investigation."

The Sun also won the Keat Award for its work in 2014 and 2012.

The Sun has won Newspaper of the Year for the past seven years.

Among daily papers with circulations over 75,000, The Sun won 31 first-place awards Friday in categories including state, local and environmental reporting, sports photography, and website videos. Seventeen winners were also named Best in Show, meaning they were considered the best in their category among all circulation divisions.

The Post won 10 first-place awards. The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., won six.

The Sun also won 26 second-place awards, while The Post won 11 and The News Journal seven.

The Sun's first-place stories included "Unsettled Journeys," which explored the challenges facing teenage immigrants at East Baltimore's Patterson High School; "45 murders in 31 days," which put faces to homicide victims during a spate of violence in July; and "A brush with fame," a profile of Aaron Maybin of Baltimore, who turned to his art after a brief NFL career.

The winners were selected from among nearly 2,000 entries in 50 categories. The Best in Show winners include:

•Justin Fenton, Mayah Collins, Christina Jedra, general news story, for "45 murders in 31 days."

•Luke Broadwater, local government, for "Rising wealth, falling school aid."

•Erin Cox, state government, for "Final Choices."

•Staff, public service, for "The death of Freddie Gray."

•Justin Fenton, policing in communities, for "Chasing a killer."

•Amy Davis, general news photo, for "Freddie Gray protest."

•Staff, spot news photo, for "Freddie Gray protest – April 28."

•Jon Meoli, sports photo, for "Orioles game with no fans."

•Childs Walker, sports feature story, for "A brush with fame."

•Staff, multimedia storytelling, for "The 45-minute mystery of Freddie Gray's death."

•Adam Marton, Greg Kohn, best use of interactive media, for "The 45-minute mystery of Freddie Gray's death."

•Staff, social media reporting, for "Baltimore riots and the Freddie Gray case."

•Staff, best photo gallery, for "100 lasting images from the Freddie Gray protests and aftermath in Baltimore."

•Lloyd Fox, Karl Ferron, Christopher Assaf, best web video, for "45 murders in 31 days."

•Liz Bowie, Amy Davis, series, for "Unsettled Journeys."

•Kevin Kallaugher, editorial cartoon, for "Band-Aid on a volcano."

•Paul Lachine, art or illustrations, for "Freddie Gray writers."

Last month, The Sun was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news and editorial writing categories for its reporting on Gray's death.

The Sun also was recognized with two awards from the Online News Association in 2015 for breaking news and explanatory reporting. 

Additionally, The Sun has been recognized this year from the American Society of News Editors, National Headliner Awards, Investigative Reporters & Editors, the White House News Photographers Association, Society for News Design and Associated Press Sports Editors.

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