Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards: 2006 Winners and Finalists

Darrell Sifford, BJ '53
Darrell Sifford, BJ '53
Darrell Sifford, BJ '53

Lifestyle Journalism Awards
The Darrell Sifford Memorial Prize in Journalism

General Excellence, Class I

Winner

The Litchfield County Times, New Milford, Connecticut
“The Litchfield County Times is a small-town publication with listings for chili suppers and sophisticated arts content. It is entirely local. On one page, you learn there are 47,410 horses in the state, and on another, you learn about art gallery showings and symphony performances. The constant throughout is the conversation the newspaper is having with its community. In words and photographs, the newspaper chronicles it readers’ lives. It introduces them to one another; it celebrates their successes. A bonus is the glossy summer magazine, Passport, which could easily be mistaken for a big-city magazine in its sophistication.”

  • 2nd Place: The Independent Weekly, Lafayette, Louisiana

General Excellence, Class II

Winner

The Daily Camera, Boulder, Colorado
“From food to the arts, religion to entertainment, the Camera covers the life of its community with solid reporting and lively writing. A reader finds enjoyment along with useful information. Presentations are crisp and colorful, subjects relevant, styles matched to content. This entry not only stood out in its circulation category but compared favorably with the work of many larger publications.”

  • 2nd Place: The Greeley Tribune, Greeley, Colorado

General Excellence, Class III

Winner

The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Portland, Maine
“The distinctive flavor of Maine comes through in every section. Whether the subject is ballet, adoption or cancer, the reporting and writing are locally relevant. Columnists provide a variety of tones but a consistency of conversational comfort. Visuals are warm and human, presentation simple but attractive. There’s a lot to enjoy and a lot to use.”

  • 2nd Place: The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • 3rd Place: The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, California

General Excellence, Class IV

Winner

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“The Star-Telegram’s entry has both depth and breadth. Readers can find everything from movie listings to explanatory stories over the course of a week in the many lifestyle sections. The pages are full of staff-written stories and photographs, the design demonstrates the staff members know how people use newspapers, and the content is both fun and informative. You get a sense of the community as you peruse these sections. That’s because the content and the journalists who produce it are primarily writing for and about Texans. With stories about how kids are revealing more on their blogs then they are to their parents, or the not-so-successful effort by Dr. Phil to get residents of a small Texas town to lose weight, the sections reach out to readers.”

  • 2nd Place: The San Jose Mercury News
  • 3rd Place: LA Weekly

General Excellence, Class V

Winner

The Washington Post
“Though understandably best known for its Pulitzer-winning news and investigative coverage, the Post sets a high standard for lifestyle coverage as well. These sections are packed with solid reporting and compelling writing. Whether the topic is tragedy or farce, war or entertainment, Post writers tell stories that grab a reader’s attention and reward that attention with both information and emotion. In a strong category, the Post stands out.”

  • 2nd Place: The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon
  • 3rd Place: USA Today

Regularly Scheduled Feature Supplement

Winner

The Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine
“The Plain Dealer’s Sunday Magazine is a delightful mix of quick hits, conversational essays, reader-contributed sketches of Cleveland and a cover story that demonstrates quality reporting, writing and photography. The magazine is paced for both the scanner and the reader. You can page through and sample, but if you have time, you can luxuriate in the depth, too. This is a tightly edited, smartly written and designed publication. The photography both leads and enhances the stories.”

Finalists:

  • 2nd Place: Glossy, The Austin American-Statesman, Austin, Texas
  • 3rd Place: Food, The Los Angeles Times

Arts & Entertainment

Winner

“PublishAmerica” by Hillel Italie of the Associated Press
“PublishAmerica is one of the fastest growing publishers in the United States, but it is fraught with criticism as well as praise from its supporters. Italie explains how this company is changing the book industry. He helps us understand the intricate issues of the published world with expert insights and exceptional knowledge of the book world. He lets readers understand why this matters and why other publishers are so upset about the new company. He writes with the grace and savvy important in arts and entertainment reporting.”

Finalists:

  • “Critical Choices” by Richard Seven of The Seattle Times
  • “Setting the Stage” by Phuong Ly of The Washington Post Magazine
  • “The Art of Politics” Anne Marie Welsh of The San Diego Union-Tribune
  • “Cos Gives Pause” by Craig D. Lindsey of The Raleigh News & Observer

Fashion & Design

Winner

“What a Steal” by Kara Platoni of The East Bay Express, California
“The handbag – part fashion statement, part status symbol – is the topic of this crime story with international intrigue, suburban homes and disgruntled luxury designers. The writer gets inside a house party selling fake Burberry, Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton. She explains the dealers as house party hosts who apply the Tupperware business model. With appropriate humor and savviness, after all this is not child-trafficking, Platoni helps readers understand why this is important to the fraud group of the Bay Area’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office and legitimate designers. The details in the story help consumers identify fakes, which account for 11 percent of all counterfeit goods seized by U.S. Customs. This is a fun read with lots of important information.”

Finalists:

  • “Red Carpet Revenue” by Booth Moore of The Los Angeles Times

Food & Nutrition

Winner

“The O Word” by Will Harper of the East Bay Express, California
“The Knolls were the first farmers to be certified organic farmers two decades ago in the Bay Area, and they are some of the loudest critics of the federal regulations that now set policies on what is organic. Using these pioneers the writer helps readers understand the critical issues of the organic regulations and why consumers should care. The reader is taken into the complicated system of growing crops and vegetables in the rich area and how the community is responding to the new policies. The Knolls give the story a personal thread that keeps the reader caring about the story; it is written with authoritative knowledge of the many sides of the issue. This topical story is well conceived and well executed.”

Finalists:

  • “Going Blog Wild,” by Amanda Berne of the San Francisco Chronicle
  • “Make It and Take It” by Candy Sagon of The Washington Post
  • “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die” by John Kessler of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Health & Fitness

Winner

“Soul Survivor: A Journey of Faith and Medicine” by Mark Johnson and Kawanza Newson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Writers Johnson and Newson have written a gripping, non-fiction account of a teenager’s battle to survive rabies, of a family’s faith that she would survive and of a doctor’s innovative treatment. The teen became the first known survivor to have beaten rabies without a vaccine, which she couldn’t get because her case was diagnosed too late. The writers followed battle against death in the hospital, in the physical therapy sessions and at home and school. The story, told in three parts subdivided into short chapters, is gripping and inspiring. The narrative approach promises much and delivers more.”

Finalists:

  • “Death on Her Terms” by Don Colburn of The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon
  • “Mending a Heart: Baby Paige’s Ordeal” by John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • “Up the Down Staircase” by Amy Silverman of The Phoenix New Times
  • “The Telltale Heart” by April Witt of The Washington Post Magazine

Best Short Feature

Winner

“Stoic Goodbye” by Candace Page of The Burlington Free Press, Vermont
“A Vermont couple says farewell to their soldier son, as he deploys to Iraq. It’s a frequent scene, but this writer’s detailed observation, precise writing and sympathetic tone lift an ordinary occasion out of the ordinary. This is a story that will resonate with every parent, every soldier, every reader.”

Finalists:

  • “A Family’s Wartime Memory of Loss” by Sean Kirst of The Syracuse Post-Standard
  • “Furniture Guy Finds His Niche” by Tan Vinh of The Seattle Times
  • “The Final Roll Call” by Denise Gamino of The Austin American-Statesman

Consumer Affairs

Winner

“Discharged and Dishonored” by Chris Adams and Alison Young of The Knight Ridder Newspapers
“This is a powerful piece of investigative, public service journalism. These reporters combined the tools of computer-assisted reporting and old-fashioned interviewing with the classic journalistic commitment to right a wrong. The reporting is both broad and deep, the writing compelling. It’s no surprise that this is work that led to reform.”

Finalists:

  • “The Donor” by Michael Leahy of The Washington Post
  • “Wretched Excess” by Josh Harkinson of The Houston Press
  • “Chasing the Portland Dream” by Scott Learn of The Oregonian
  • “Bankrupt and Swamped with Credit Offers” by Caroline E. Mayer of The Washington Post

Multicultural Journalism

Winner

“Snowbound” by Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post Magazine
“Gene Weingarten writes serious features. He also writes satiric and humorous features. When he decided to visit Savoonga, Alaska, because it is remote and because the name sounds funny, he almost certainly did not expect to win an award in the Multicultural category of the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism competition. Because the residents of Savoonga are unique, outlandishly unique to most potential judges for this award, Weingarten’s entry might have been placed in the also-ran pile quickly because the story turned out cute and quirky. Instead, Weingarten found universality in a remote Alaskan village. The story is about the villagers, to be sure. But the real theme is loneliness and its consequences. The reporting is sensitive and otherwise superb. The writing is compelling.”

Finalists:

  • “The Identity Makers” by Cristi Hegranes of SF Weekly
  • “A Wrenching Choice” by Phuong Ly of The Washington Post
  • “Foot in the Door” by Lynh Bui of Phoenix New Times
  • “Thrust Together, They Were Divided” by Sandy Banks of The Los Angeles Times

Paul L. Myhre Single Story

Winner

“In Balraj’s Realm” by Karen R. Long of The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A profile of a coroner, any coroner, would seem to offer a writer boundless opportunity to craft a compelling narrative. There’s the mystery of unsolved murder, the gory details of how we live and die, the pathos of family grief. It’s no wonder that television is brimming over with tales of forensic science. What Long has done, however, is something far more compelling than a made-for-TV crime story: She has created a richly detailed, well observed and deeply sensitive portrait of a woman who conducts the grim business of determining cause of death in a calm manner that belies the politics of the job and the stereotypes of Asians and women. This is no caricature, but a complete and highly engaging story, enlivened by a close examination of two death investigations. Long spent five months on the story – observing, interviewing, mining court documents – and it shows.”

Finalists:

  • “Generation Rx” by Glenna Whitley of the Dallas Observer
  • “Lotto Trouble” by April Witt of The Washington Post Magazine
  • “Gaming to the Max” by Elizabeth Leland of The Charlotte Observer
  • “Please Forgive Me” by Colleen Krantz of The Des Moines Register

Paul L. Myhre Series/Special Section

Winner

“The Fraying Safety Net” by Steve Twedt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Allegheny County, Pa., and the rest of the state spend billions of dollars each year to help women, children and men in need. The question posed in the first day’s headline is ‘Why is Such a Huge Stream of Money Not Enough?’ Great question. Great answers. This series could have read like a mostly boring budget package. Instead, it bursts with humanity, as Steve Twedt answers the overweening question from apparently every angle imaginable to a journalist. He had to learn about hundreds of agencies that exist to help the needy. Within those agencies, he needed to find individuals who would speak knowledgeably and frankly. Twedt also needed to find recipients of government assistance who would speak on the record, in a way that transcended self-serving. The series is filled with anecdotes, but anecdotes achieving a purpose. In the end, Twedt has written a series of stories about priorities. Help that really matters could become available to most of those who really need it — but not when budgeting is aimed at the wealthy and influential portion of the citizenry more than at the underclasses.”

Finalists:

  • “Imprisoned by the Internet” by Marc Hansen of The Des Moines Register
  • “Far from Rome” by Jenny Deam and Colleen O’Connor of The Denver Post
  • “A Season on the Hill” by James F. Sweeney of The Plain Dealer
  • “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by Aina Hunter of The Philadelphia Weekly

Updated: August 15, 2019

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