Tampa Bay Times journalists won a first-place award and nine overall in the 82nd annual National Headliner Awards competition honoring excellent journalism in U.S. news organizations during 2015.
Book critic Colette Bancroft won first place in the newspaper division category of special/feature column on one subject for her pieces on three women authors: a tribute to Louisa May Alcott's Little Women; a review of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman; and a review of Margo Jefferson's Negroland: A Memoir.
In the public service category, Times staff writers Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner won the second-place award for the "Failure Factories" series that traced the decline of schools in St. Petersburg's black neighborhoods.
Also winning second-place awards were:
• Leonora LaPeter Anton, Anthony Cormier and Michael Braga in investigative reporting for the Times/Herald-Tribune series "Insane. Invisible. In danger" on Florida's state-funded mental hospitals. That series also won second place in online videography for video led by photographer John Pendygraft.
• Editor of editorials Tim Nickens in editorial writing for a collection that included the subjects of health care and Medicaid expansion.
• Food critic Laura Reiley in the special/feature column category for pieces on food waste, dietary guidelines and beer hall etiquette.
• Illustrator Cameron Cottrill in illustration/informational graphics for a collection that included art for Latitudes and Perspective cover stories.
• Tampabay.com in the category of newspaper affiliated website.
Winning third place:
• Sports columnist Tom Jones in sports columns for a collection that included commentary on Marty St. Louis retiring and Jameis Winston's first win for the Bucs.
Founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City, the National Headliner Awards program is one of the oldest and largest annual national contests recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry.