St. Petersburg Times journalists Lane DeGregory, Melissa Lyttle and Lucy Morgan have been honored with first-place awards in major national contests.
DeGregory won first place in the feature writing category of the National Headliner Awards for a body of work that included "The Girl in the Window," a special report about a feral child living in deplorable conditions who was rescued and adopted by loving parents.
Lyttle's photography in "The Girl in the Window" received two honors: a first place in Best Published Picture Story in the Best of Photojournalism awards from the National Press Photographers Association; and first place in the Sigma Delta Chi Awards category of feature photography.
Morgan won a Sigma Delta Chi first place in nondeadline reporting for "Double Dipping," her series of stories last year on highly paid state employees "retiring" and coming back to work their same jobs. Since 1932 the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized the best in the nation's professional journalism with these awards.
Times staffers earned three other National Headliner awards. In the category of special or feature column on one subject, photographer John Pendygraft took second place for "Paycheck to Paycheck," and Jeff Klinkenberg earned third place for his column "Real Florida." In the category of illustrative graphics, the Times news art staff took second place for a collection of work.
The Times earned a Best of Photojournalism second-place award for a Sports section front at the end of last year's World Series. Recognized were photo editor Stefanie Boyar, photographer Brian Cassella and the design team.
The staff of PolitiFact, the Times' Web site that rates the truthfulness of political statements, also was named a finalist in the category of Washington reporting in the Scripps Howard Foundation's annual National Journalism Awards.