Charles Davis Named National Journalism Teacher of the Year by the Scripps Howard Foundation

Cincinnati (March 13, 2009) — Charles Davis, associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, is the Scripps Howard Foundation‘s Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is among the winners of the organization’s annual National Journalism Awards, honoring the best in print, Web and electronic journalism and journalism education in 2008.

Charles N. Davis
Charles N. Davis

Davis also serves as executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, headquartered at the School. Davis teaches a graduate course, Controls of Information, Journalism & Democracy, a capstone course for print and digital news students, and the School’s introductory course, Principles of American Journalism. He also has taught courses in reporting, editing, media law and investigative journalism.

Davis worked for 10 years as a journalist after his graduation from North Georgia College, working for newspapers, magazines and a news service in Georgia and Florida before leaving full-time journalism to complete a master’s degree from the University of Georgia‘s Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication and to earn a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Florida.

Davis conducts scholarly research on access to governmental information, as well as on a wide range of First Amendment issues. His research on FOI issues has appeared in Administrative Law Review, News Media and the Law, Newspaper Research Journal, Journalism and Mass Media Quarterly and Communication Law & Policy, Social Science Computer Review as well as in law reviews.

His teaching awards include the Provost’s Award for Junior Faculty Teaching, the Mizzou Alumni Association‘s Faculty/Alumni Award and the David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser from the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Scripps Howard Foundation awards, open to all U.S. news organizations and college journalism educators, recognize excellence in 17 categories, including editorial and human interest writing; environmental, investigative, business/economics, public service and Washington reporting; commentary; photojournalism; radio and television reporting; college and editorial cartooning; Web reporting and journalism education. The awards also honor distinguished service to the First Amendment.

Cash awards totaling $195,000 will be presented April 24 during a dinner at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. It will be hosted by the Foundation and its corporate founder, The E. W. Scripps Company.

“At a time when the journalism profession is undergoing tremendous change, it’s reassuring to see so much outstanding work by its practitioners,” said Mike Philipps, Foundation president and chief executive officer. “The exemplary work honored by these awards speaks not only of the recipients’ talent, skill and intellect, but of their dedication to serving our country and communities with journalism – and journalism education – that changes lives.”

The National Journalism Awards winners are:

Journalism Teacher of the Year
Charles Davis, associate professor of journalism studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia, receives $10,000 and the Charles E. Scripps award. His school also receives a $5,000 grant. The award is given in cooperation with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Investigative Reporting
Rob Barry, Jack Dolan and Matthew Haggman of The Miami Herald receive the $25,000 Ursula and Gilbert Farfel prize, given in cooperation with Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication and the Farfel endowment, for the series “Borrowers Betrayed,” an investigation of the Florida mortgage crisis that led to changes in state laws, policies and personnel.
Finalists: Tom Lasseter, McClatchy Newspapers, “Guantanamo: Beyond the Law;” and Amy Goldstein and Dana Priest, The Washington Post, “Careless Detention: The Medical Treatment of Immigrants”

Public Service Reporting
Las Vegas Sun receives $10,000 and the Roy W. Howard award for revealing how shoddy safety practices and lax government oversight contributed to 12 construction deaths in 18 months on the Las Vegas Strip. The stories led to sweeping safety improvements.
Finalist: Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, “American Dream Project”

Editorial Writing
David Barham of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, receives $10,000 and the Walker Stone award for persuasive editorials on topics ranging from complex global politics to simply using the right word.
Finalists: Lawrence Harmon, The Boston Globe; and Bonnie Williams, Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail

Paul Krugman of The New York Times receives $10,000 and a trophy for courageously and prophetically clarifying complex economic issues, and months later influencing Washington policymakers with his insightful explanation of the global financial crisis.
Finalists: John Kass, Chicago Tribune; and Roger Simon, Politico, Arlington, Va.

Human Interest Writing
Sean Kirst of The Post-Standard, Syracuse, N.Y., receives $10,000 and the Ernie Pyle award for leaving readers with lasting memories of the people and circumstances he introduced in his column.
Finalists: Stephanie Desmon, The Baltimore Sun; and Michael Phillips, The Wall Street Journal

Web Reporting
Los Angeles Times receives $10,000 and a trophy for “Mexico Under Siege,” continuously updated multimedia coverage of the Mexican government’s war against ruthless drug cartels.
Finalists: and The Roanoke (Va.) Times, “Age of Uncertainty;” and, “Decision ’08 Dashboard”

Environmental Reporting
Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal Sentinel receives $10,000 and the Edward J. Meeman award for “Chemical Fallout,” investigations by Meg Kissinger and Susanne Rust into toxic consumer goods and the derelict regulatory agencies that permit their sale.
Finalists: Tom Knudson, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, “Sierra Warming;” and The Philadelphia Inquirer, (Tom Avril, John Shiffman and John Sullivan), “Smoke and Mirrors: The Subversion of the EPA”

Washington Reporting
David Willman of the Los Angeles Times receives $10,000 and the Raymond Clapper award for revealing the FBI and Justice Department’s botched anthrax investigations that ended with a suicide rather than an arrest and a trial.
Finalists: Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle; and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times

Editorial Cartooning
Mike Luckovich of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution receives $10,000 and a trophy for his ability to incite multiple emotions with the reading of a single cartoon.
Finalists: Don Asmussen, San Francisco Chronicle; and Alexander Hunter, The Washington Times

Distinguished Service to the First Amendment
Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman of The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., receive $10,000 and the Edward Willis Scripps award for “Big Time, Big Costs: The high price of Rutgers sports,” which pitted the newspaper against the state university over internal records, and led to reforms and new personnel.
Finalists: Joe Adams, The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville; and Aki Soga and Michael Townsend of The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press

Michael Robinson Chávez of the Los Angeles Times receives $10,000 and a trophy for his ability to work intimately and analytically in unfamiliar cultures and situations, from Georgia, Mumbai, Nepal, Mexico and rural areas of the United States.
Finalists: Don Bartletti, Los Angeles Times; and Damon Winter, The New York Times

Business/Economics Reporting
Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe receives $10,000 and the William Brewster Styles award for identifying U.S. corporations that were covertly using international relationships and offshore operations to avoid taxes, side-step U.S. laws and deny workers’ rights.
Finalists: Lynn Arditi, The Providence (R.I.) Journal; and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, (C.S. Murphy and Amy Upshaw)

Excellence in Electronic Media/Radio
National Public Radio receives $10,000 and the Jack R. Howard award for “Dirty Money,” a series by Tanya Ballard Brown, John Burnett, Quinn O’Toole and Marisa Penaloza that exposed abuse of search-and-seizure laws under the guise of drug enforcement.
Finalists: JoAnn Mar, KALW-FM, San Francisco, “Prisons in Crisis;” and WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio, Aurora Aguilar, Joe DeCeault and Greg Scott, “The Brickyard”

Excellence in Electronic Media/TV-Cable
Downtown Community Television Center of New York City receives $10,000 and the Jack R. Howard Award for “Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery,” a documentary by Rebecca Abrahams, Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill that took HBO viewers to the gravesites of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Finalists: Doug Smith, WTVT-TV, Tampa, Fla., “Small Town Justice;” and WTHR-TV, Indianapolis, “Broken Buses”

College Cartoonist
Grant Snider of The University News at the University of Missouri-Kansas City receives $10,000 and the Charles M. Schulz award for comic strips that reflect the influence of graphic novels.
Finalists: Joseph Devens, The Daily Texan, The University of Texas at Austin; and Christopher Sharron, Daily Kent Stater, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Journalism Administrator of the Year
Marilyn Weaver, chair of the department of journalism at Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., receives $10,000 and the Charles E. Scripps award. Her school also receives a $5,000 grant. The award is given in cooperation with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

An awards program book featuring the winners and their work and videos of the winners’ work and acceptance speeches will be available online at after the April 24 dinner. A printed copy also may be requested.

Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes.

Updated: April 30, 2020

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