Public Release: 

Missouri School of Journalism announces winners of 2007 Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards

University of Missouri-Columbia

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia announced winners of the 2007 Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards. Well-known repeat winners include The Washington Post, the San Jose Mercury News and the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo.; relative newcomers include The Roanoke Times and The Sacramento Bee.

Judges of the more than 1,200 entries wrote some of the following about the winners:

- "The quality of the writing, photography and design compare favorably with most national magazines." - "In the soft features, it's elegant." - "...this narrative demonstrates the great continuing strength of the newspaper in telling a good story."

The Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards began in 1960 as the Penney-Missouri Awards. Winners receive $1,000 in prize money and a lead crystal vase trophy.

A list of winners and finalists, along with judges' comments, is attached.

THE MISSOURI LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM AWARDS 2007 WINNERS AND FINALISTS

REGULARLY SCHEDULED FEATURE SUPPLEMENT

WINNER West Magazine, Los Angeles Times For the price of your daily newspaper, the Los Angeles Times throws in, free, a high-gloss, high-quality magazine each Sunday. The quality of the writing, photography and design compare favorably with most national magazines. This one is focused on the West, and as you go through its pages, you get a sense of place, a sense of literature and a sense of humor.

2nd PLACE Gender: F, The Seattle Times In an industry that is aggressively producing niche publications, not many would have thought to produce a tabloid aimed at females. Most research shows that females are our most loyal readers but are underserved. The Times reaches this demographic with such targeted articles as one on body image in which there was a split run with two different headlines, another from women who share their life lessons, and another on single-sex schools.

3rd PLACE Pasatiempo, The Santa Fe New Mexican Santa Fe's bound, newsprint magazine is a big-city product in a mid-major market. Pasatiempo immerses you in the culture of Santa Fe. Opera, jazz festivals, art shows, high culture, pop culture--from the writing to the visuals to the design, it's presented with class and style

GENERAL EXCELLENCE CLASS V

WINNER The Washington Post While many of even the biggest and best newspapers are cutting back, even eliminating, feature sections, the Post continues to dazzle with its range of subject matter, depth of reporting and style. In a strong set of finalists, the Post especially shines for the quality of its writing. In the hard stories, it's clear and crisp. In the soft features, it's elegant. The lifestyle sections of the Post are a pleasure to read.

2nd PLACE USA Today With the nation to cover and no local angles to develop, the Life sections of USA Today are notable for their variety and the quality of presentation. As you'd expect, graphics are a major and masterful element. If you haven't read the paper lately, you might be surprised at the good writing that marks nearly every story.

3rd PLACE The Miami Herald The troubles of the Herald have made the news, but these lifestyle sections show no sign of decline. Instead, they're full of life, full of personality, and full of the qualities that make South Florida unique. Newspapers that are faced with having to do more with less could take lessons here.

GENERAL EXCELLENCE CLASS IV

WINNER San Jose Mercury News The Mercury News is still a full-service lifestyle shop. In addition to the traditional sections, it aligns itself with its local community with sections on Food and Wine and another titled "Interactive." The writing, photography and design of these sections are exemplary. The staff generate most of the content. Readers are entertained, informed and kept in touch with the culture of the community.

2nd PLACE The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee tells its readers stories in words and pictures. Whether it is chronicling one day at the Sacramento airport or localizing the Katrina survivor story, the stories are informative and entertaining. The depth and breadth of the lifestyle sections, which feature local content, keep readers in touch with their neighbors.

3rd PLACE The Virginian-Pilot The cover stories of The Daily Break are conceived, photographed and written with flair. The design is outstanding. The sections also are the paper of record for entertainment in the greater Norfolk area. Readers can find everything from pop culture to letters from Norfolk-area troops serving in Iraq.

GENERAL EXCELLENCE CLASS III:

WINNER The Roanoke Times Maybe the best thing about these sections is the range of ideas. The entries cover the spectrum of lifestyle interests from a bull riding school through the art of beer snobbery to the woman who got to her high school prom 10 years late. The amount of local content, in this age of trimming down and outsourcing, is also impressive. The photography and design are eye-catching, and the writing is clear and warm.

2nd PLACE The OC Weekly The Weekly contains all the usual alternative elements - the reviews, the listings, the personals ads. What makes it a winner, though, are the deeply reported and powerfully written centerpiece stories. These have both substance and panache.

No third place in this category.

GENERAL EXCELLENCE CLASS II

WINNER Daily Camera, Boulder, Co. The Daily Camera has a broad offering of topics through the week. Each day there is a section with a strong lead story supported with enticing photographs. All of this work is local. The writing is excellent. Sunday's larger section has more depth and topics and is nicely organized and labeled.

2nd PLACE The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press Nice variety of content, supported with photos. Columnists provide a good sense of the community and a personal touch for the lifestyle sections. Headlines, especially on the lead cover stories, are written with an eye to attracting readers. Good use of presentation devices to draw readers into the stories.

No third place in this category.

GENERAL EXCELLENCE CLASS I

No winners in this category.

HEALTH AND FITNESS

WINNER "The Gift," by Jennifer Garza, The Sacramento Bee This is a wonderful, uplifting story. In serial narrative form, it recounts the gift of life from one man to another he had never met. The reporting is deep; the writing is compelling. Like several other entries in this category, this narrative demonstrates the great continuing strength of the newspaper in telling a good story.

FINALISTS

"The Day Magic Saved 5 Lives," by Tony Leys, The Des Moines Register

"Can We Stop the Next Killer Flu"" by Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post Magazine

"Doctor spends last days on his most revealing case," by Don Colburn, The Oregonian

CONSUMER AFFAIRS

WINNER "First year in college is the riskiest." by Robert Davis and Anthony DeBarros, USA Today This powerful story is guaranteed to frighten any parent of a teenager. It educates while it frightens, thanks to the impressive use of computer-assisted reporting and clear, compelling writing. It also is an impressive example of solution reporting, with a sidebar telling parents how to evaluate the risks their college freshmen children will face. As you'd expect from USA Today, the graphics are rich in formation and easy to read.

FINALISTS:

"Green to the core," Judith Lewis, LA Weekly

"Betrayed by a cell phone," Ted Bridis, AP

"Who's resurrecting the electric car," Judith Lewis, LA Weekly

MYHRE SERIES/SPECIAL SECTIONS

WINNER "Mr. Merritt's Challenge," Pam Kelley, The Charlotte Observer Week in and week out, Mr. Merritt and his 17 fifth-graders think, laugh, learn and struggle at a school where almost all students receive free lunch and many speak English as a second language. This series invites readers to take a seat in Mr. Merritt's class for the whole school year and rewards those who do with an insightful and intimate portrait of school life, rendered through careful observation and a keen ear for dialogue.

FINALISTS

"Through Hell and High Water," Jane Hansen, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Pain & Fire," Jennifer Jacobs, The Des Moines Register

"Dirty Deeds," Chris Thompson, East Bay Express

"The $40 Lawyer," Christopher Goffard, St. Petersburg Times

MYHRE SINGLE STORY

WINNER "Domestics Bliss/Wholesale Attraction Turns Retail Romance Into Store-Aisle Wedding March," Stephanie Earls, Albany Times Union There are wedding stories, and then there is this wedding story. Consider the opening: "He did it in Domestics. In front of Bernadine from Housewares and David from Men's Suits, but not Sandi from Candy - who had the day off." True love often makes good copy, but rarely is true love, or any other topic, treated so cleverly, written with such panache. This is one of the briefer entries in the category. It is so well thought-out, so well-written, that, despite its brevity, it is eternally memorable.

FINALISTS

"The Peekaboo Paradox," Gene Weingarten, Washington Post Magazine

"Calling All Angels," Suzanne Pullen, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine

"Mikey Kelly Died This Month. You Probably Didn't Know Him." Colleen Kenney, Lincoln Journal Star

"Final Salute," Jim Sheeler, Rocky Mountain News

MULTICULTURAL JOURNALISM

WINNER "Illegal at Princeton," Miriam Jordan, Wall Street Journal Dan-el Padilla is an honors student at elite Princeton University. He also is an illegal immigrant according to U.S. law. Because of the consequences that flow from his illegal status, Padilla turned himself over to the authorities. The feature about how Padilla overcame a childhood of poverty in the Dominican Republic, then risked everything because of nonsensical laws and regulations governing U.S. immigration law, is fresh and unforgettable.

FINALISTS

"Mixed Feelings: Latinos Hire Latinos," Florangela Davila, Seattle Times

"The Summer of the Death of Hilaro Guzman," Mark Arax, West, the magazine of the Los Angeles Times

"They Could Be Citizens and They Might Be Deported," Nina Shapiro, Seattle Weekly

"Am I East or Am I West"" Olivia Wu, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine

BEST SHORT FEATURE

WINNER "Wrapped in memories," Julia Prodis Sulek, San Jose Mercury News Sulek followed a blanket from the donor, who gave it to the Sacred Heart Community Service charity, to the recipient, who took it home to warm her children. This story works, first, because of the reporting that adds people with whom we can empathize. It works, second, because the writing makes you read to the end to see how the story turns out.

FINALISTS

"When you love someone and marry them, you marry them for life." Sonia Krishnan, Seattle Times

"Doing 92 from Edmonds to Panama," Susan Gilmore, Seattle Times

"Queen of Trash," Denise Gamino, Austin American-Statesman

FASHION AND DESIGN

WINNER "Letting It All Hang Out," Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times A prime example of a concept story - one that understands how trends are not mere fashion but reflect social change - this piece asks why something is occurring and sets out to define what it means. The introduction illustrates that the best stories reflect an informed take on the subject and don't need to cite source after source to establish the point. The writer then follows up with many, many sources to document that the idea is not her sole opinion but one shared by many. She uses experts, observers and players to explore why young women insist on wearing revealing clothes even when the result is totally unflattering. The resulting story says a lot not about fashion per se but about fashion's impact on our psyches. More lifestyle stories should take this approach and break out of the fluff rut.

FINALISTS

"The Little House That Roared," Susan Fornoff, San Francisco Chronicle

"Sneaker Fiends," Camille Dodero, Boston Phoenix

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

WINNER "Avedon's Lone Stars," Andrew Marton, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Detective story. Local story. National story. This piece has it all. The writer uncovers the whereabouts of some of Richard Avendon's "In the American West" photographic series. The iconic photographs illustrate much about their subjects, but this approach reveals even more. It prints the famous Avedon photos that show the series' Texans, then takes new photos 20 years later. (The new photos, by the way, compare favorably to the old ones.) Then the writer asks about the circumstances of the original photo shoot, digging out not only the logistics but also what the subjects were thinking. In many cases, the information per se is not enthralling but the overall impact, as Marton's introduction says, tells us how these "homegrown minders and farmers and factory workers whose lives, unglamorous by every other measure, were illuminated, touched and irreversibly changed by a chance encounter with a New Yorker and his camera."

FINALISTS

"The Big Picture," Catherine Fox, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Plundered Art," Tara Burghart and sidebars by others, Associated Press

FOOD AND NUTRITION

WINNER "The Good Food Dilemma," Leslie Cole, The Oregonian Many food writers have been tackling the organic dilemma, but none have done it with the insight and freshness of Leslie Cole. Her series is truly a learning experience, filled with stories and perspectives that enhance the meaning of organic. She looks at the high cost of organic food, what the term really means and all the players in the system. Her writing style and ability to predict the needs of her readers makes this a winner.

FINALISTS

"Rent-a-Grandma: Extending family," Olivia Wu, San Francisco Chronicle

"Wild things," Marlene Parrish, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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