The Miami Herald’s “Innocents Lost” series, which examined the deaths of nearly 500 Florida children, won the top honor in this year’s Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest, the gold medal for public service.
Prestigious Paul Hansell Award went to the Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown, for her investigative “Cruel and Unusual” series, which documented abuse in Florida prisons. Judges said Brown’s work "was absolutely remarkable and jaw-dropping."
The Hansell award is named for the late Florida bureau chief for The Associated Press and former member of FSNE. Brown also finished second for Investigative Reporting category for the same project.
In the category of newspapers with a circulation of 125,000 or more, the Herald’s Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch finished first for Community Leadership for “Innocents Lost.”
Overall, the Miami Herald and sister newspaper el Nuevo Herald finished first in a combined five categories.
The Herald’s Jay Weaver, who covers federal courts, won first place for Beat Reporting. His work included breaking a story about baseball player Alex Rodriguez’s disclosure to authorities that he had used steroids.
The Herald and Tampa Bay Times jointly won first place in Breaking News Reporting for their collaborative coverage of the Florida State University shooting. The reporters named in that award include Tom Tobin, Michael Kruse, Michael LaForgia, Lisa Gartner, Michael Van Sickler and Mary Ellen Klas.
El Nuevo Herald won first place in News Reporting for a series of stories by Alfonso Chardy on the plight of undocumented minors from Central America who fled to the United States across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Enrique Flor and Brenda Medina took second in that same category for their coverage of myriad problems at the Hialeah water treatment plant. Medina also got first place in the Features Writing category for her story on Dominican veterans of the war in Iraq.
Jorge Ebro finished third for Sports Writing for his story about the circumstances surrounding professional baseball player and Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig’s journey to the U.S. from his native Cuba.
For a complete list of winners, visit fsne.org.