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Beth Reinhard, Brendan Farrington win Sunshine State Awards for coverage of race for US Senate

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Congratulations to Beth Reinhard and Brendan Farrington for their Sunshine State Awards recognizing their work covering the race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat.

About Reinhard, the judges wrote:

Reinhard’s tale of Gov. Charlie Crist’s nonstop U.S. Senate campaign gives readers a sense of what it is that makes the formidable Florida politician tick. Using a series of well-sourced, exquisitely detailed anecdotes, this compelling story imparts a sense of the urgency that fuels Crist’s 24-7 drive to raise money and influence voters through a personal, hands-on effort in the digital era.

About Farrington, the judges wrote:

Farrington’s thorough reports illustrate the progress of one of the nation’s most-watched political battles. His careful, well-balanced reporting provides the reader with an insider’s perspective on how an underdog legislator has managed to mount a serious threat to a popular, once seemingly unbeatable Republican governor.

Also taking home some hardware was the Orlando Sentinel’s Aaron Deslatte for State and Federal Government and Political Reporting. My friend Mike Deeson of 10 Connects also won in television’s version of this same category.

In this year’s competition, 700 entries – from print, television, radio and online –were evaluated by news professionals in other states. The Orlando Sentinel and The Miami Herald tied for the most first-place honors, each claiming nine of the 73 awards. The Naples Daily News (seven first-place awards), Miami New Times (six) and The Daytona Beach News-Journal (five) rounded out the top five finishers. The complete list of competition results is available at

“This has been a challenging year for our profession, but in spite of that, Florida journalists rose above it to deliver the kind of top-notch journalism our communities need,” said Darcie Lunsford, president of SPJ South Florida. “The kind of stories that the Sunshine State Awards recognize exemplify the important role that the news media play in our democracy.”

The event sponsors of the 2010 Sunshine State Awards are Shutts & Bowen LLP and the Palm Beach Post.

The Society of Professional Journalists, the oldest and largest professional journalism organization in the country, celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. SPJ’s South Florida Pro Chapter serves journalists in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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