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Tampa Bay Times outperforms all the rest in statewide media competition

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Tampa Bay Times won more awards than any other large-circulation news group in the state in the Florida Society of News Editors competition this year. According to the paper, the Times took away 12 first-place awards and 29 others.

Among the first-place finishers this year were Adam Smith and Michael Kruse for work in the Features and Arts Writing category under “Knowing Charlie Crist.”

Times’ coverage of the Florida State University shooting took home a first place finish under the breaking news reporting category for Times writers Tom Tobin, Michael Kruse, Michael LaForgia, Lisa Gartner, Michael Van Sickler and Mary Ellen Klas.

Tim Nickens took away a top finish with his “Tin Man” editorial comparing Florida Governor Rick Scott to the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz because Rick Scott appeared to have no heart.

Andrew Rosenthal took away a first place prize in the Sports Page Design category for his work on “Trophy Case” about the Tampa Bay Rays’ missing World Series championship. The cover of that piece shows a would-be World Series trophy with the names of the Rays’ players emblazoned on flags.

Jeff Solochek, Cara Fitzpatrick, Marlene Sokol and Kathleen McGrory took away top honors for “The Gradebook” in the blog and online commentary category while the crew at PunditFact won in the Niche Site or Channel category.

Also honored with first place wins were John Pendygraft, Letitia Stein, Alexandra Zayas, Connie Humburg and Kris Hundley for the “Insult to Injury” news video, Steve Madden for his “Mars One Plan” in the News Graphics category, Edmund Fountain for “The Lost Bones” photo story, John Strickhouser for headline writing, Paul Alexander and Jennifer Wright for Page One Design and Susan Taylor Martin for her real estate coverage in the Business category.

Among the 29 other honors awarded the Times by FSNE were nine second-place awards. That includes “Insult to Injury” in the Investigative Reporting category. “The Lost Bones” series documenting the Dozier School for Boys saga took away several second place finishes including to Ben Montgomery and Edmund Fountain for Community Leadership, Matt Callahan for the page design and a multimedia second-place finish for Multimedia awarded to Ben Montgomery and Cameron Cottrill.

Other second place finishes include “The First Family” series about C.W. Bill Young for Andrew Meacham in the Features & Arts Writing category, John Romano for his columns, Laura Reiley’s food reporting and Andrew Rosenthal for his “A Pioneer” sports page design.

The Times also nabbed several third-place finishes for things like the “Moving at the speed of failure” editorial, sports page design, news graphics and multimedia.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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