Release: August 25, 2015
Media Contact: Bach Polakowski
202-588-9888 or

Washington, D.C. – Today the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association announces the recipients of its Excellence in Journalism Awards and salutes their exemplary work.

The NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster and recognize excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBT community. In addition to special recognition awards, awards will be presented for excellence in news writing, feature writing, opinion writing, blogging, network television, radio, online, HIV/AIDS coverage and student journalism.

The 2015 awards go to:

Journalist of the Year
First Place: J. Lester Feder, BuzzFeed News

Second Place: Jason Parsley, South Florida Gay News

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media
First Place: Trish Bendix, AfterEllen

Second Place: Lucas Grindley, Here Media

The Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism

Steven Thrasher for
“How College Wrestling Star “Tiger Mandingo” Became An HIV Scapegoat,”

Excellence in Blogging Award
First Place: Rob Smith for
“They Fought The Gays and The Gays Won: How The “Duck Dynasty” Stars’ Homophobia Destroyed Their Brand,”

Second Place: Faith Cheltenham for
“Bisexuals at the Gates,”

Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award
First Place: Benjamin Ryan for
“PrEP and Prejudice,” with Oriol Gutierrez, POZ Magazine

Second Place: Doug Moore for
“2,000 St. Louisans are HIV Positive but Aren’t Taking Their Medications,”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Excellence in Multimedia Award
First Place: Mark Joseph Stern for
“Get Déjà Vu Listening to Opponents of Interracial Marriage Argue at the Supreme Court,”

Second Place: Daniel Reynolds for
“Day in LGBT America,” The Advocate,
with Christopher Harrity, Yannick Delva, Michelle Garcia and Lucas Grindley

Third Place: J. Bryan Lowder for
“Ask A Homo: Gay Bar Etiquette,”,
with June Thomas

Excellence in News Writing Award
First Place: Andrew M. Seaman for
Series on LGBT Health Coverage, Reuters

Second Place: Berlin Sylvestre for
“Pro-LGBT Colorado Baker Slapped with Religious Discrimination Complaint,” Out Front Magazine

Third Place: Andy Birkey for
“Evangelical Group Targets Twin Cities LGBT Community With ‘Ex-gay’ Message,” The Column

Excellence in Television Award
First Place: Sari Aviv for
“Born This Way?,” CBS News Sunday Morning, with Rita Braver, Chad Cardin, Rand Morrison

Excellence in Online Journalism Award
First Place: Stephen Jiwanmall for
“Remembering Riley,” Bucks County Courier Times

Second Place: Dave Singleton for
“Finding Pride and Home: A Look at Housing for Older LGBT Adults,”

Third Place: Sunnivie Brydum for
“40 Under 40: Emerging Voices,” The Advocate
with Michelle Garcia, Lucas Grindley, Daniel Reynolds, Neal Broverman, Trudy Ring, Jase Peeples, Diane Anderson-Minshall, Parker Marie Molloy, Tracy E. Gilchrist, Annie Hollenbeck and Thom Senzee

Excellence in Opinion/Editorial Writing Award
First Place: Mark Segal for
Mark My Words Column, Philadelphia Gay News

Second Place: Richard Kim for
Against the Current Column, The Nation

Third Place: Richard J. Rosendall for
Cutting Holes in the Law, Washington Blade

Excellence in Photojournalism Award
First Place: T.J. Thomson for
“More than a Formality,” Columbia Missourian

Second Place: Scott A. Drake for
“Pride in Philly,” Philadelphia Gay News

Excellence in Radio Award
First Place: Tina Antolini for
“Trans Families,” State of the Re:Union/WJCT
with Al Letson

Second Place: Jason DeRose for
“Religious Support for LGBT Ugandans,” KALW Public Radio
with Julie Caine

Excellence in Student Journalism Award
Jessi Hotakainen for
“Trans Mississippi,”

The awards will be presented during the NLGJA National Convention & LGBT Media Summit. For more information on the convention, 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