Times Takes Seven Top Dateline Awards, Five Others; Coverage of September 11 Garners recognition.(NATION)
Byline: Jabeen Bhatti, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Washington Times has won seven first-place awards in the annual Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) Washington D.C. Chapter Dateline Awards, including one for the newspaper's coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Reporters and photographers for The Times took first-place honors in the daily newspaper categories for spot and general news, sports, photojournalism, features, investigative reporting and columns, and received honorable mentions for financial, sports and general news coverage, and its photojournalism and features.
The awards, which honor the best news coverage by local newspapers, magazines and broadcast operations in 2001, were presented Tuesday night at the SPJ's annual banquet at the National Press Club.
"Class will tell," said Times Managing Editor Fran Coombs. "There are a lot of fine news people in the Washington area, but this year Times staffers were the best of the best. While we're not here to win awards, recognition from one's peers is high praise indeed. The news business is an unforgiving mistress, though: All we ultimately care about is tomorrow's paper."
Unlike this year's Pulitzer Prize contest, September 11 coverage did not dominate the awards. Only five entries in more than 30 categories won citations for September 11 coverage.
Organizers said this year's contest was a real "mish-mash" of entries, with few from the region's largest newspapers, such as The Washington Post, or the smallest weeklies.
The Times' metropolitan, business and national reporters' coverage of September 11 won first place for spot news.
Other first-place awards went to reporters for articles about Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, the District's red-light cameras, Ritalin and youth, the District's towing practices and care of the elderly. …