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The Power of Diversity in Media and In Life



I sit here typing this one hour after completing one of the most satisfying experiences in recent memory. I helped present the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists' Griot Drum Awards.

Some of you may be thinking: Why another journalism awards contest? Others may carp: Why isn't there a Tampa Bay Association of White Journalists? My response is simply that diversity in media is an important goal -- especially here in the Tampa Bay area where it seems so difficult for people to talk honestly across race lines. And tonight, for three hours at the Poynter Institute, we gathered to honor those who have excelled in such conversations -- handing out 17 awards to area journalists and $1,300 to students of color pursuing journalism degrees.

I serve as TBABJ president, so I'm not the least bit objective on this subject. But I remain convinced that by celebrating great work, you can also encourage more of it. So here's a list of the winners from tonight's contest. Keep your eye out for their bylines, and encourage them to keep up the good work.

Features, Photo/Graphics – Carrie F. Pratt, St. Petersburg Times, “Splash Down.”

Spot News, TV – Rod Carter, Katy Hennig, WFLA-Ch. 8, “Right to Vote.”

Non-Deadline Reporting, TV (tie) – Nancy Johnson, WTSP-Ch. 10, “In Their Own Words.”; Denise White, WTVT-Ch. 13, “Manhattan Casino.”

Investigative/Series, TV – Yolanda Fernandez, Jim Webb, WFLA, “Johnny Long.”

Community/Public Affairs, TV – Joy Petit, WFTS-Ch. 28, “Achievement Gap.”

Sports News, TV – Dave Reynolds, Bob Hansen, WFLA, “John Cruz.”

Spot News, Radio – Mark Antokas, WMNF-88.5 FM, “Zephyrhills Rescinds MLK St.”

Feature, Radio – Bobbie O’Brien, WUSF-89.7 FM, “Maxwell Maxims.”

Documentary/Series, Radio – Mark Antokas, WMNF, “Zephryhills/MLK Street Series.”

Public Affairs, Radio – Bobbie O’Brien, WUSF, “Negro League: Final Payback.”

Features, Print (above 100,000 circ.) – Ron Matus, Denise Watson Batts and Cathy Wos, St. Petersburg Times, “The Price for the Heights.”

Community Affairs, Print (above 100,000 circ.) – St. Petersburg Times Staff, “Reading, Writing Race.”

Sports Features, Print (above 100,000 circ.) – Dave Scheiber, St. Petersburg Times, “Bubba’s World.”

Features, Print (below 100,000 circ.) – Eric Snider, Weekly Planet, “Blues Cruise (Highway 61 Revisited).”

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:34pm]


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