Journalist of the Year
First: Michael Luongo, Freelance
The NLGJA 2013 Journalist of the Year is Michael Luongo, a freelance journalist, editor and photographer and New York University adjunct professor who teaches travel writing. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Bloomberg News, CNN, National Geographic Traveler, Gay City News, The Advocate, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure, Details, Man About World and other publications, with most of his travel writing and international correspondence work concentrating on the Middle East and Latin America.
One Excellence in Journalism Awards judge commented that Michael Luongo “gains amazing access to the Palestinian, Israeli, and Egyptian worlds. His ability to weave a narrative draws the reader into his stories, be they about pinkwashing in Israel, the difficulties of being gay in Palestine, or what became of the out, gay activists in Egypt’s manifestation of the Arab Spring. He also shows versatility, reporting on both the gay world for the mainstream media and on the lesser known aspects of straight Arab society in Egypt and the just plain fascinating continued existence of Samaritans in Israel.”
Another judge noted: “Luongo produces well-researched and sourced work that simply isn’t done by many – even any – other news organizations. His travels potentially put him – and even his subjects – at risk as he pulls together his stories. His work focuses on many under-reported topics and underserved segments, especially of LGBT life.”
Second: Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed