FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 7, 2017
PRESS CONTACT: Dillon Lewis or 202-588-9888

WASHINGTON, DC – Today NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announces the recipients of its Excellence in Journalism Awards and recognizes exemplary work produced in 2016. The highest individual awards, NLGJA Journalist of the Year and Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBTQ Journalist of the Year, are awarded to Katie Barnes and Erik Hall, respectively.

“We are thrilled each year by the work that is nominated for NLGJA’s Excellence in Journalism Awards,” said NLGJA President Jen Christensen, “and this year was no different. All of the award recipients are doing their fair share to advance NLGJA’s mission of promoting fair and accurate LGBTQ coverage, and it is our privilege to recognize their outstanding work.”

NLGJA’s Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBTQ community. Last year the awards were expanded to 30 categories and this year included the creation of the Excellence in Religion Coverage Award.

With generous support from the Gannett Foundation, the Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism is presented to Meredith Talusan with Matthew Rodriguez, Anna Swartz, Brianna Provenzano and Marie Solis for “Unerased: Counting Transgender Lives”. The award includes a grant. “Innovative presentation, brilliantly researched,” said one judge, “this should be emulated elsewhere.”

The awards will be presented throughout the NLGJA National Convention September 7-10 in Philadelphia. For more information on the convention and the schedule of award presentations, visit

The complete list of award winners include:

Special Recognition Awards:

NLGJA Journalist of the Year Award
Katie Barnes

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBTQ Journalist of the Year
Erik Hall

The Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism
Meredith Talusan, with Mathew Rodriguez, Anna Swartz, Brianna Provenzano and Marie Solis for “Unerased: Counting Transgender Lives”,


Print/Online Awards:

Excellence in Book Writing
David France for “How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS”, A.A. Knopf

Excellence in Feature Writing Award
Erin Allday for “Last Men Standing”, San Francisco Chronicle

Excellence in Feature Writing Award (Non-daily)
Jeff Chu for “Spirituality in LGBTQ Uganda”, Medium

Excellence in News Writing Award
Lauren McGaughy for “Coverage of LGBT Platform Issues (Republican National Convention)”, The Dallas Morning News

Excellence in News Writing Award (Non-daily)
Jay Michaelson for “The GOP’s Anti-LGBT, Anti-Women ‘Religious Freedom’ Law on Steroids”, The Daily Beast

Excellence in Photojournalism Award
Michael Zamora for “Trans in Iowa”, The Des Moines Register

Excellence in Profile Writing Award
Tim Teeman for “‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease? I Don’t Even Like Baseball.’ Comic Bob Smith on Living With ALS”, The Daily Beast

Excellence in Sports Writing Award
Shannon Keating for “BuzzFeed News: This Is What The World’s Biggest Gay Rugby Tournament Looks Like”, BuzzFeed

Excellence in Student Journalism Award
Louis Finley for “PrEP Continues to Face Stigma and Uncertainty”, NLGJA CONNECT: Student Journalism Project

Excellence in Travel Writing Award
Christopher Muther for “Raise a Glass to the Country’s Newest, Most Boisterous National Monument”, The Boston Globe

Digital Awards:

Excellence in Blogging
Tim Fitzsimons for “SCRUFFtistics: 2016 Election Survey”,

Excellence in a Digital Edition Award
Manny Velasquez-Paredes, JJ Vega, Xioger Sandoval, David Duran and Ross Christianson for “Travel Heels”, Connextions Magazine

Excellence in Digital Video Award
Julia Saenz, Geena Rocero, Allison Hoffman, Santiago Garcia Muñoz, Jordi Oliveres, Gerry Martinez and Fermin Gonzales for “Willing and Able”, Fusion

Excellence in Multimedia Award
Peter Rowe, Howard Lipin, Luis Cruz and Lara Hochuli for “How a Girl Born at 2 Pounds Became a Happy Boy”, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Excellence in Online Journalism Award
J. Bryan Lowder and June Thomas for “The Lesbian Issue”, Slate – Outward

Editorial Awards:

Excellence in Column Writing
Derrick Clifton for “Derrick Clifton on Identity, Culture, and Social Justice”, Chicago Reader

Excellence in Opinion/Editorial Writing Award
Steve Friess for “As I Thanked My Dying Dad for Always Accepting Me, I Realized Everything Was Already Said”, The Washington Post

Broadcast Awards:

Excellence in Documentary Award:
Lizzie Gottlieb, Carmen L. Vicencio, Justine Nagan, Christopher Hastings and Chris White for “America ReFramed – Romeo Romeo”, WORLD Channel

Excellence in Local Television Award
Megan Mitchell and Cliff Naylor for “Two Spirits”, KFYR-TV

Excellence in Network Television Award
ESPN/E:60 for “E:60 Life as Matt”, ESPN

Excellence in Podcasts Award
Marlo Mack, Jim Gates and Whitney Henry-Lester for “How to Be a Girl”, KUOW

Excellence in Radio Award
Jeff Tiberii, Jess Clark, Elizabeth Baier, Dave DeWitt and Brent Wolfe for “HB2 Coverage”, North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

Coverage Awards:

Excellence in Bisexual Coverage Award
Diane Anderson-Minshall for “Freddie Mercury’s Life Is the Story of HIV, Bisexuality, and Queer Identity”, The Advocate

Excellence in Health or Fitness Coverage
Julia Saenz, Michelle Nash, Gene Rocero, Allie Hoffman, Lacey Uhlemeyer, Heidi Burkey, Danny Beard, Jimmy Kalman, Jackie Albano, Raul Avila, Angelica Baini and Alexa Ledesma for “No League of Their Own: Transgender Athletes”, Fusion

Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award
Erin Allday for “Last Men Standing”, San Francisco Chronicle

Excellence in Religion Coverage Award
Jason DeRose, Tom Gjelten, Marisa Peñaloza, Anna King, Andrea Smardon and Stina Sieg for “God vs. Gay: Bridging the Divide”, NPR

Excellence in Transgender Coverage Award
Daniel Trotta, Letitia Stein, Jon Herskovitz, Colleen Jenkins and Daniel Wiessner for “The Battle for Transgender Rights”, Reuters

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About NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists:
NLGJA is an organization of journalists, news executives, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members. For more information, visit