Congratulations to our 2011 SPJ Contest Winners!

Congratulations to all of the winners in our 2011 SPJ Northwest Excellence in Journalism Contest! We had more than 2,100 entries this year in 184 categories. Trophies were awarded to 1st place winners and certificates were awarded to 2nd and 3rd place winners at awards ceremonies tonight in Portland, Ore. and Seattle, Wash. Other chapters will host their own events, or will provide awards to the winners on an individual basis.

–> Click here to download the complete list of winners <–

Need to order a corrected trophy or certificate, or order a duplicate? Download the order form here and submit it to regional director Dana Neuts by July 15.

We’d like to thank our out-of-state judges for helping us choose this year’s winners. We couldn’t have done it without you! A special thanks to these chapters and their teams of judges who helped:

– Paul Fletcher, Pat Kane and Virginia Pro SPJ

– Jack Zibluk

– Stirling Morita and Hawaii SPJ

– Nic Garcia, Colorado SPJ

– Jodie Mozdzer, Connecticut SPJ

– Kelly Kissel, Sonny  Albarado & Michael Koretzy, Green Eye Shades

– Bob Lipper, Long Island SPJ

– Sarah Bauer, Minnesota SPJ

– Scott Thiesen, Minnesota SPJ

– Jenn Rowell, Washington D.C. SPJ

– Ginny Frizzi, Pennsylvania SPJ

– Kevin Smith, SPJ past-president and Ethics Chair

– Carol Cole-Frowe, Oklahoma SPJ & freelance committee member



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  • AndrewMSeaman

    1.) Does every alleged solicitation by someone in media in New York City deserve a Gawker post?
    2.) Why is this unhealthy behavior? Also, can you prove the two people were going to have sex? Is it possible the man and his wife have an open relationship?
    3.) Why is the sexual escapades of an executive relevant to me or any reader other than the man’s family?

  • Derp

    “We Expected Better, Gawker”

    The question to this is also, why? Why don’t you just denounce their publication? Gawker writers seem to be sociopaths and opportunists first and foremost, they would sell their own grandmothers or shame/destroy the reputation of anyone for some good Clickbait, or as it were edit and publish a private sex tape and then post it to their site just to make fun of Hulk Hogan:

    Or trying to crowdfund acquiring a crack video from drug dealers: which they aptly named a “Crackstarter”:

    They once identified every gun owner in New York by name, leading to a stalker finding his victim after long last:

    Or taking a well-meaning Coke marketing campaign with a generally positive message and disrupting it by letting it spew lines from “Mein Kampf”:

    Or developing a stalker app named “celebrity tracker” and defending it Live on air:

    They’re that kind of company – it’s not journalism, it’s just trash.

  • Colin

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the piece. Like I said, it could have been presented differently. But yes, I’d argue paying thousands of dollars to solicit an escort (and I think it’s naive to think it’s for chit chat or cuddling) is unhealthy for the client, the escort, and families involved. Also, the sexual escapades of anyone of some authority is fair game for gossip rags, which is what Gawker started out as and continues to be. Nowadays, though, they write news to keep people clicking.

    Gawker is like the anti-legacy media website. While most legacy sites have stooped to running gossip nonsense to draw people in with the hope readers will stumble upon important news during their visit, Gawker writes relevant news to draw people in with the hope they will stumble upon some gossip nonsense.

  • AndrewMSeaman

    You make very valid points, @disqus_2BcRRBOK00:disqus. Unfortunately, a lot of the ethical violations you point out about Gawker were also committed by “traditional” media. For example, an upstate New York paper posted a list of gun owners in its communities. Also, we often go after network news programs (usually morning shows) for paying for access – typically known as checkbook journalism. We – the Society and ethics committee – try to address ethical violations when and where possible. Sometime, I contact news organizations directly to remind them of what the Society considers best practice by journalists. Unfortunately, we can’t call out every violation. For example, I wrote down three rather large violations people brought to my attention yesterday. Each one takes a bit of research and time to evaluate and write about. The Society’s ethics committee are all volunteers who have days jobs. So, we do our best. My hope is that no journalism organization is beyond repair. Hopefully, we can point out errors and violations and steer them back to ethical waters. Maybe that’s pollyannaish of me, but it’s how I operate.

  • TheDenialist

    I’m of two minds. The fact Gawker has once again acted as such I angers and infuriates me, but I’m not surprised. That SPJ has finally called them out OK
    i guess. It makes me wounder if I’ve become a bit too jaded to Gawker being Gawker.

  • ParasamGateZero

    Ah, so anyone who purchases sex for money should be ‘outed’ as a john? Did you know that it’s not illegal in most states to commit adultery? Prostitution is also a misdemeanor in most states, not a felony.

    Regardless of Geithner being married, you have no knowledge of what arrangement he had with his wife. It’s entirely possible that they’re not even sleeping together, which is very common in couples who have been married for a long time. If they’re not even sleeping together then his sex life is none of her business. Even if they are sleeping together, this issue is theirs to hash out, and not the public’s. Married or not, he is not her property, and shame on you for thinking a woman can own a man. And this is exactly what gawker is thinking by the way. Gawker is a feminist media outlet, and they are promoting the notion that men are the property of women. They don’t care about the very likely possibility that he could be a gay man in a marriage of convenience to protect his image. Gawker is nothing but a bunch of anti-gay feminazi bigots. Fuck them.

  • Mark Neil

    Sure other organizations may make the same errors in judgement, but do they do so as consistently as Gawker? Just because every time Gawker violates ethics, someone else does also, doesn’t negate the fact Gawker is always doing it. The other agencies aren’t a single entity making constant violations, they are a whole bunch of individual agencies making an occasional transgression. You can’t dismiss a single agencies violations, simply because, when compared to the entire rest of the industry combined, they aren’t any worse.

  • Mark Neil

    I’m curious if the SPJ AirPlay is getting any more support after this. It was allegedly “approved, but reluctantly” a week ago. Perhaps it is worth further investment by SPJ?

  • AndrewMSeaman

    As far as I know, AirPlay is part of a conference put together by Region 3 of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Regional arms of SPJ – again, as far as I know – are allowed to control the programming of their conferences. In this case, a national board member is organizing AirPlay and one of the highest ranking members of the organization will sit on a panel. I don’t know how much more involved SPJ can be. Also, I’m unaware how Gawker’s transgressions fit in with AirPlay, but I don’t follow GamerGate. You may want to contact Michael -the organizer – at for more information.

  • AndrewMSeaman

    I’m not dismissing any organization’s transgressions, @QhL9yP1zLr:disqus. In case you haven’t noticed, this blog post is calling out what I consider an ethical violation by Gawker. Also, other organizations, such as NBC, are often violating our standards on checkbook journalism. Some Gawker staffers distanced themselves from the article since the beginning. I’m not going to label all of them unethical. If you want to, go ahead.

  • halosydne

    “Ah, so anyone who purchases sex for money should be ‘outed’ as a john?”

    As someone who works in anti-human trafficking efforts among nonprofits and state entities: yes. Next question, please.

  • Matt Derrick

    There are many layers to this onion and I have no doubt journalism ethics classes will enjoy debating this over the next few years. I myself have had a healthy debate with a colleague over elements of this story.

    I do think it was a poorly structured story in that there was a lot of insinuation without concrete facts and largely singled sourced. I wouldn’t have published it for those years.

    A separate debate, which this SPJ posts highlights, is the definition of a private individual. While I notice Mr. Seaman was careful not to identify the individual by name in the initial overview of the Gawker post, enough information was given to identify him. Later, a quote from Gawker’s retraction identified the individual by full name. This post now carries his full name and an overview of Gawker’s allegations against him.

    Is that appropriate if SPJ ethics deem him a private individual? I grant you that I do consider him a public individual; he has a significant public role in a major and influential media company which he did of his own accord and is consistent with seeking power, influence or attention. But a healthy debate exists about his classification of a private individual. This post seems to suggest he is a private individual, then clearly identifies him and the allegations against him.

  • Internet_Zen_Master

    So Nick Denton took down the original article and put this up in its place:

    If anything, the second paragraph of Denton’s post reeks of insincerity and desperately trying to justify Gawker’s reasoning in my opinion. The paragraph is as follows: “The story involves extortion, illegality and reckless behavior, sufficient justification at least in tabloid news terms. The account was true and well-reported. It concerns a senior business executive at one of the most powerful media companies on the planet.”

    I’m actually amused, because he’s playing the ‘tabloid news’ card, since Gawker loves to try and pass itself off as more than just a tabloid rag when it has positive press.

  • Derp

    Adam Weinstein apparently left the company over this:

  • Mark Neil

    But to date, only the Florida region (in addition to region 3 that is hosting it)has come out supporting Airplay, while the other regions just observe and/or baulk at it. It may be something to consider showing more interest on your part. And to be clear, I didn’t say “involved”, I said invested”. Most of the panalists are funding their own participation due to a lack of funding. By your own admission, you don’t know many details on the subject. I would argue that demonstrates a lack of investment, at least on your part, and on many of the regions, if my understanding is correct.

    As to the relation between Gawker and Gamergate… Gawker (and more specifically, it’s gaming arm Kotaku) are some of the most egregious ethical offenders gamergate has been battling against for this last year (10 months under gamergate, years prior to the hashtag). gawker has used it’s media influence to villainize the gamergate movement, and gamergate has repeatedly given gawker a bloody nose, including costing them 7 figures in revenue when they informed advertisers about the ethical violations and attitudes.

    So again, perhaps it is something you may wish to show a little more interest in, if you’re wanting to call Gawker out. Because they have needed calling out for a long time, and the fact you’re only noticing now, despite gamergate doing it almost a year, calls into question your own credibility.

    And that’s all I’m saying… you may want to consider paying more attention to it, for good or bad. I think it’s more relevant than you realize.

  • Mark Neil

    “I’m not dismissing any organization’s transgressions”

    Then what was the purpose of this statement?

    “Unfortunately, a lot of the ethical violations you point out about Gawker were also committed by “traditional” media.”

    Because it very much looks like making an excuse for not having called them out earlier. It very much looks like damage control. But if I’m misunderstanding this quote, or your intent in saying it, feel free to clarify.

    “In case you haven’t noticed, this blog post is calling out what I consider an ethical violation by Gawker.”

    Yeah, I get that you’re finally calling them out, but that’s not the issue @derp was speaking too… You can’t make the kind of response you made and then think the fact you finally called them out, once, negates the comment you JUST made, after the call out.

  • AndrewMSeaman

    You know, I had a response typed out to you in one of your other comments. Instead, I feel like engaging with you any more would be a lesson in poor time management. Have a great weekend, Mark.

  • Mark Neil

    How unfortunate you feel that way, but not entirely surprising.

  • I can’t even understand the reasoning that went on with Gawker’s editorial staff. It was the pointless trashing of someone’s reputation, and the only possible reason to do it was to drive traffic. It had absolutely no news value. Web-only publications have been making a concerted effort to be taken seriously as journalistic outlets, and Gawker just reverted back to 19th century tabloid journalism with a dose of National Enquirer.

  • bryoneill11

    People SPJ is doing this article now because of GamerGate calling them out. “We Expected Better, Gawker” Yeah? since when? Gawker is doing this for years and years. How come this story is different? Why everybody is calling them out last night? I tell you why, because GamerGate. The fact that SPJ expected better means that they knew nothing about them. GamerGate is doing in just 1 year what SPj supposed to be doing since forever

  • Ryan Freire

    Why, why would you think they’re better than that? They’ve never been better than that.

  • ParasamGateZero

    So you equate prostitution with human trafficking? You think that all prostitutes were have been kidnapped and enslaved?

    Also, you didn’t address any of my other points. So it’s a little disingenuous for you to say ‘next question’.

  • Mr.Sixes

    @1:25 in the video you can see she’s even surprised by hearing that and then spends the rest of the video trying to make it sound like it ain’t that bad. Then at 2:20 she looks like she just saw someone get shot.
    Then she gets called out on ALL THE CRAP!

  • halosydne

    They don’t have to have been kidnapped — do you think human trafficking is what you’ve seen in Taken? No, not all sex workers are involuntary — but the vast majority are. And johns, particularly repeat johns, are usually connected to a trafficker in some way. Usually these women are coerced or even forced by people they know, conditioned to say they’re doing it of their own accord when they’re arrested or asked by johns. Teenage girls are made to think they’re in relationships and then told by their trafficker “if you love me, you’ll do this for us!” Kidnapping doesn’t ever even have to enter the equation. Let’s watch how we throw around the word disingenuous if you think one of the largest criminal industries in the world is most accurately depicted by a Liam Neeson film.

    There were no actual questions in the latter half of your comment, and I did not disagree with you about people being someone else’s property. The rest of your post is laughable enough it does not warrant reply, on the term “feminazi” alone, and suggests you have no idea what feminism actually is.

  • Lost Question

    I think the bigger problem is the rush to publish thing’s when reporting online it’s far to easy to rush a article out then go back and correct screw ups or pull the article after. problem is once you the article is out there almost no one see’s the corrections made after the fact.

  • Random Chatter

    And all this time I thought liberals view of sexual liaisons was “it’s a private matter and no one’s business.”

  • ParasamGateZero

    I could care less what feminism actually is, and you have no citations to back up your claims.

  • halosydne

    The fact that you’d come back after two weeks just to show your ass tells me how willfully unintelligent you are. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center has basic information about some cases available on its website (such as:, which is as recent as 2014) on a rotating basis. I’ve also been working in this field for five years. I hope you read those stories and educate yourself. I’m done here. Good luck getting your head out of the sand.

  • ParasamGateZero

    I’ve had a busy two weeks and haven’t had time to return to this forum, which is not my preferred venue for discussions anyway. What you’ve presented is not any sort of citation, but a rotating collection of anecdotes. A citation would be to an actual study which both defines and quantifies human trafficking. What you’re doing is not science based and not fact based. You’re just spreading a narrative.


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