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Cool Award Won By Times



Living up to my crabby reputation, I rarely indulge in boosterish shilling for the institution which cuts my paychecks. But I'm going to make an exception this once, to compliment two great reporters from our newsroom who just won a prestigious award: one of the very first Philip Meyer Awards.

Times colleagues Matthew Waite and Craig Pittman placed third for their series, Vanishing Wetlands, which demonstrated that 84,000 acres of Florida wetlands have been destroyed by development since 1990 when President George H. W. Bush declared a national policy of no net loss of wetlands.

I also note another recent contest irony: former WFTS-Ch. 28 investigative reporter Miker Mason has won one of Columbia University's Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism for reporting by the station's investigaive unit on problems dogging the Crosstown Expressway expansion. Apparently now working as a realtor in Miami Shores, Mason left WFTS in December 2004; his tenure had been controversial, marked by tough reporting, awards won nationally and locally, an arrest for doctor shopping to obtain pain medication and loss of his driver's license after an car accident in which he had no insurance.

Another reporter in WFTS' unit, Robin Guess, left in December; despite making big waves early on by exposing former Tampa Housing director Steve LaBrake questionable business deals, Guess seemed the victim of a new regime at the station which wanted its own high-profile investigative reporters.

An interesting pairing of awards notifications.


Yours truly appears today on the Reporter's Roundtable feature of Ed Gordon's NPR show News and Notes, discussing Samuel Alito's Supreme Court confirmation hearings and Katrina victims getting tossed out of New Orleans hotel rooms to make way for Mardis Gras revelers.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:35pm]


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