Times' journalists honored with National Headliner Awards

Jay Cridlin. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Jay Cridlin. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published April 22, 2019

Tampa Bay Times journalists won a first place and three additional honors in the 85th annual National Headliner Awards competition recognizing excellence at U.S. newspapers in 2018.

Entertainment critic Jay Cridlin received a first place in the special or feature column category for a collection of columns on Dad Shoes, compact discs and the farewell tour of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

"Jay's columns are delightful and surprising in their love for the unloved," one judge wrote. "It's a refreshing point of view, and one I'm sure resonates with his readers."

Deputy investigations editor Kathleen McGrory and investigative reporter Neil Bedi won second place for investigative reporting in a top 20 media market for their series "Heartbroken." It examined problems at the Heart Institute inside Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital that resulted in the deaths of at least 11 children.

The series was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting last week, won the George Polk Award for Local Reporting and tied for first place in the Division II print/online competition held by Investigative Reporters and Editors.

The Times' staff was recognized with a second place in the online slideshow category for its coverage of Hurricane Michael when its slammed into the Panhandle last fall.

Former Times photographer Lara Cerri received a third place in the photo essay/story category for her work on the series "Lincoln's shot," about a family's quest for a long-shot cure for their son's terminal illness.

Additionally, Bethany Barnes, now an investigative reporter with the Times, received a third place for education writing while at the Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Ore.

The National Headliner Awards program, founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City, is one of the oldest and largest annual national contests recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry.