For Release: September 5, 2014
Media Contact: Bach Polakowski
202-588-9888 or

Washington, D.C. – The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association  presented the organization's Excellence in Journalism Awards at its annual convention, August 21-25, in Chicago. The convention included an Awards Reception, which honored Hall of Fame inductees, and highlighted three special recognitions: the NLGJA 2014 Journalist of the Year, the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for LGBT Journalist of the Year and the inaugural Excellence in Blogging Award. 

Special Recognition awards:

Journalist of the Year Award: Chris Geidner
Watch Geidner’s acceptance speech: 

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBT Journalist of the Year: Lila Shapiro 

Excellence in Blogging: Mark King for “My Fabulous Disease” 
Watch King’s acceptance speech: 

Watch the 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees acceptance speeches:

Donna Cartwright, delivered by friend, Ina Fried:–JV82G3Y

Lisa Keen:

Tracy Baim: 

This year’s  award winners include John Sutter of CNN, who received The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Reporting Award, for the “LGBT Rights Calculator.” 

This year’s Excellence in Journalism Awards winners were recognized with presentations throughout the convention.

The following is the complete list of the 2014 awards for excellence in various news media and platforms.

Special recognition awards:

Journalist of the Year Award
Chris Geidner

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBT Journalist of the Year
Lila Shapiro

Excellence in Blogging
Mark King for “My Fabulous Disease”  

Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Innovation in Investigative Journalism
John Sutter for the “LGBT Rights Calculator”

Print/online awards:

Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award
First: David France for “How to Survive a Plague”
Honorable Mention: Steve Blanchard for “Chasing the Bug”

Excellence in News Writing Award
First: Timothy Cwiek for coverage of Nizah Morris case
Second: Beth Hawkins “Same-sex marriage, Minnesota and the Supreme Court: an FAQ for the befuddled”

Excellence in Feature Writing Award
First: Gabriel Arana for “Soldier without a War”
Second: Melissa Griffiths for “LGBTQ in the Capital” (series)
Third: Beth Schwartzapfel for “Little Boxes”

Excellence in Opinion/Editorial Writing Award
First:  Tracy Baim for “The content of our character: Trayvon and us”
Second: Gail Shister for “Is Your Husband Gay?”
Third: Steve Friess for “My Turn as a Target of ‘God Hates Fags’ Preacher Fred Phelps”

Excellence in Online Journalism Award
First: Dani McClain for “Being ‘Masculine of Center’ While Black”

Excellence in Multimedia Award
First: Michelle Garcia for  “The State of Pride in Sports”

Excellence in Photojournalism Award
First: D. David Robinson and Sunnivie Brydum for  “We Are Here: LGBTI in Uganda”

Excellence in Student Journalism Award
First: Samuel Nemir Olivares Bonilla for “Boston Groups Reach Out to LGBT Youth of Color”

Broadcast awards:

Excellence in Local Television Award
First: John-Carlos Estrada for “Bar Kicks Out Gay Couple for Dancing”

Excellence in Radio Award
First: Emma Jacobs for “One Gay, Binational Couple's Story — and Hopes — As Supreme Court Decision Nears”

Applications for the 2015 Excellence in Journalism Awards and nominations for the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame will open in January 2015. For more information, visit

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About the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association
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. For more information on the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, visit the NLGJA website at