Tampa Bay Times staffers on Thursday received the Gold Medal for Public Service from the Florida Society of News Editors for the series "The Last Voyage of the Bounty."
The Times won eight first-place awards and 30 overall in the annual FSNE competition, more than any other large-circulation news organization in the state. The Gold Medal honors the best work of meritorious public service by a newspaper through distinguished reporting, writing and presentation.
This year's first-place award in Feature & Arts Writing also went to the Bounty team of Michael Kruse, Don Morris, Lee Glynn, Alexis Sanchez, Tom Bassinger, Maurice Rivenbark and Bill Duryea. The awards were announced during the FSNE-Florida Press Association Convention at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.
"You will not find a more dedicated, hard-working team of journalists than those in the newsrooms of the Tampa Bay Times," editor and vice president Neil Brown said. "Our entire organization shares in these honors, which recognize our commitment to excellent content and design in every aspect of our business, be it powerful narratives and vibrant websites, as well as our fundamental coverage of local issues."
The Times competes in the large newspaper division. Its other first-place winners are:
• Tim Nickens for a collection of work in the Editorials category.
• Paul Alexander, Tom Bassinger, Terry Chapman, Boyzell Hosey, Steve Madden and Jennifer Wright for Page One Design.
• Paul Wallen and Cameron Cottrill for "Bloody good summer," Feature Page Design.
• Cherie Diez for "A super-hero window washer," Feature Photography.
• Michael Kruse for The State You're In, Blog/Online Commentary.
• PunditFact staff for Niche Site/Channel.
• Alex Leary and Amber McDonald for Alex Leary's Live Reporting from the Supreme Court's DOMA decision, Use of Social Media in Breaking News.
Times staffers won 12 second-place awards: Ivan Penn, Drew Harwell, Barbara Behrendt, Jeff Harrington and Robert Trigaux for Daily Deadline; Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia for Investigative Reporting; Drew Harwell for Business; Paul Wallen for Feature Page Design; Jody McMaster for Headline Writing; Don Morris for News Graphics/Illustrations; Edmund D. Fountain for Feature Photography; Will Vragovic for Sports Photography; Willie Allen Jr. for Photo Story; Will Hobson, Laura C. Morel and Jodie Tillman for Online Breaking News; the Buzz politics team for Blog/Online Commentary; Janet K. Keeler for Innovation that Drives Digital Audience.
Winning third-place awards: Jessica Vander Velde and Joseph Garnett Jr. for Daily Deadline; William R. Levesque, Joseph Garnett Jr., Steve Madden and Alexis Sanchez for Investigative Reporting; Matt Baker for Sports; Joni James for Editorials; Paul Wallen and James Borchuck for Feature Page Design; Matt Callahan and Cameron Cottrill for Sports Page Design; Skip O'Rourke for Spot News Photography; Dirk Shadd for Sports Photography; Melissa Lyttle for Photo Story.