2007 Excellence in Journalism Award Winners

NLGJA Announces 2007 Excellence in Journalism Award Winners & LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame Inductees

The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association today announced the recipients of its Excellence in Journalism Awards and the newest inductees to its LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame.

The organization will honor Journalist of the Year winner James Kirchick and Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media winner Ryan Lee as part of plenary events at "Breaking Stories, Breaking Waves," NLGJA's 2007 National Convention & 4th Annual LGBT Media Summit. Winners in the competition's other categories will participate as panelists on breakout sessions designed to give convention attendees the chance to learn about the behind-the-scenes work that went into the award-winning stories, Web sites and photographs.

"Once again, NLGJA is honored to recognize some of the best journalism produced that focused on LGBT issues. This part of our mission is one of the best ways to highlight the importance of fair and accurate coverage," said NLGJA President Eric Hegedus. "I'm especially pleased that some award winners will have a chance to talk about their stories and accomplishments during sessions at the convention itself. Outside of one-on-one conversations, award winners don't often get a chance to engage in these types of discussions. This sort of new interaction with members and supporters will be very inspiring."

NLGJA's Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBT community. In addition to Journalist of the Year and the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media, awards will be presented for HIV/AIDS coverage, written news, written feature, written opinion/editorial, local and network television news, photojournalism, online media and student journalism.

The NLGJA Journalist of the Year award recognizes the outstanding professional achievements of an LGBT journalist who is a member of NLGJA. This year, NLGJA will present that honor to James Kirchick. Kirchick's work was previously honored by the organization in 2006 when he was selected as the first place winner for Excellence in Student Journalism. Kirchick has worked as a reporter for the New York Daily News, the New York Sun and The Hill and has written for The Advocate, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal Europe, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Herald and other publications. He is a columnist for the Window Media Newspapers and the Washington Examiner.
Ryan Lee of the Southern Voice newspaper has been selected by NLGJA to be honored with the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media. Named for the late Newsweek Senior Editor and groundbreaking journalist, the award is intended to recognize the outstanding contributions of a single journalist to the LGBT media landscape.

NLGJA's Excellence in Journalism Awards include $500 first-place prizes in eleven separate categories, as well as $1,000 first-place prizes presented to the winners of the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media and the student category. All second and third runners-up receive award certificates.

NLGJA's Excellence in Journalism Awards winners were selected by 40 distinguished journalists from across the country who volunteer their time to serve as judges.

2007 NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Award Winners

NLGJA Journalist of the Year Award
Presented to James Kirchick
Honorable Mention Presented to Lacy Atkins, Photojournalist
Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media

First Place Presented to Ryan Lee, Southern Voice
Second Place Presented to Matthew S. Bajko, Bay Area Reporter
Third Place Presented to Zak Szymanksi, Bay Area Reporter
NLGJA Excellence in News Writing Award
Sponsored by Hearst Newspapers

First Place Presented to "There is a Gay Agenda: Winning Elections," Kerry Eleveld, Salon.com
Second Place Presented to "From John to Julia," Steven Hepker, Jackson Citizen Patriot
Third Place Presented to "A Secret Life," Evan Thomas & Team, Newsweek
NLGJA Excellence in Feature Writing
Sponsored by Hearst Newspapers

First Place Presented to "Queens of the Desert," Michael Joseph Gross, Out Magazine
Second Place Presented to "When in Rome," Michael Joseph Gross, Out Magazine
Third Place Presented to "I Have Been the Luckiest Man in the World," Daniel Shoer-Roth, The Miami Herald
NLGJA Excellence in Writing Award Opinion/Editorial
Sponsored by Hearst Newspapers

First Place Presented to "A Time When We Were Heroes," Mark King, Southern Voice
Second Place Presented to "Gays: Get Out of the Military," Michael Knipp, The Examiner
Third Place Presented to "State of Disunion," Sarah Blazucki, Philadelphia Gay News
NLGJA/Seigenthaler Excellence in Network Television

First Place Presented to "My Secret Self: A Story of Transgender Children," Barbara Walters, David Sloan, Alan B. Goldberg, Joneil Adriano, ABC News 20/20
Second Place Presented to The Advocate Newsmagazine, Jim Fraenkel, Mark Doctrow, Garth Bardsley, Jason Gallagher
Third Place Presented to "Still Acting Up," Ed Forgotson, Jr., Jim McLaughlin, Harry Smith, Patrick Lee, CBS News Sunday Morning
NLGJA/Seigenthaler Excellence in Local Television

First Place Presented to "Drawn Here: Alison Bechdel," Jack Thurston, WCAX-TV
NLGJA/RTNDA Excellence in Online Journalism Award

First Place Presented to here! At the Movies, Ben Harvey, Michael Eldridge & Eric Feldman, heretv.com
Second Place Presented to "An Accuser's Story," Andrew Murr, Newsweek.com
Third Place Presented to "Outloud @ the Library," James Murdock, Turn It Up @ The Library
NLGJA Excellence in Photojournalism Award

First Place Presented to "Surrogate Mother," Emilia Aigotti, USA Today & Vanity Fair Italy
Second Place Presented to "Gay Games VII," John Gress, Reuters
Honorable Mention to USA Today package Staff for "Surrogate Mother," Jym Wilson, Karen Klinkenberg, Judy Keen
NLGJA Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award

First Place Presented to "A World of Hope: UN Meeting on AIDS," Neil Herland, CBC Radio (Canada)
Second Place Presented to "AIDS at 25," Sabin Russell, Wyatt Buchanan, Meredith May, Leslie Fulbright & Louis Freedberg, San Francisco Chronicle
Third Place Presented to "Virus of the Heart," Chris Ciompi, Patrick Steven Waechter, Mark Liebermann, John Mok & Michael Lyons, Genre Magazine
NLGJA Excellence in Student Journalism Award

First Place Presented to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Mark S. Luckie, University of California, Berkeley
Second Place Presented to "NYC Pavement Pieces: LGBT NYC," Nadia Taha, Joy Keh, Michael Rundle, Amy Van Vechten & Clare Trapasso, New York University
Third Place Presented for coverage of the Virginia Marriage Amendment, Gayland Hethcoat, Virginia Commonwealth University
LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame 2007 Inductees

Established during NLGJA's 15th Anniversary Celebration, the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame was launched to tell and preserve the stories of the journalists and the media contributors who pioneered fair and accurate coverage of LGBT individuals and their stories.

This year, NLGJA will induct four new members to Hall of Fame when it gathers in San Diego, CA for "Breaking Stories, Breaking Waves," NLGJA's National Convention & 4th Annual LGBT Media Summit.

Writer and activist Jim Kepner (1923-1997) was the founder of the International Gay and Lesbian Archives. He was also a significant contributor to the newsletter of the militant PRIDE organization. The newsletter would gradually evolve to become The Advocate, for which Kepner also wrote.
A prolific writer and the founding editor of GAY, the first LGBT weekly newspaper in the U.S., Washington, DC native Jack Nichols (1938-2005) helped found a chapter of the Mattachine Society in the city in 1961. With his partner Lige Clarke, Nichols wrote the "Homosexual Citizen" column in Screw magazine. This column was the first time gay men wrote about life in the LGBT community for a straight audience.
At the time of her death in 2007, Barbara Gittings (1932-2007) and her partner Kay Tobin Lahusen had been together for 46 years. The two are known for their advocacy work and their revolutionary work as the editor and assistant editor of The Ladder. The couple participated in early LGBT rights demonstrations at the White House, and Gittings helped successfully lobby the American Psychiatric Association to change its position on homosexuality as a mental disorder.
NLGJA is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members.

"Breaking Stories, Breaking Waves," NLGJA's 2007 National Convention & 4th Annual LGBT Media Summit, will take place August 30-September 2 the Westin Horton Plaza in San Diego, CA. The event will bring together NLGJA members and supporters in media industries for a variety of professional development workshops, networking opportunities and the chance to welcome the organization's new Executive Director, David Barre.