2007 Sunshine State Awards

MIAMI, May 19, 2007 — The best in Florida journalism, from heart-moving accounts of personal hardship to dogged investigative reporting on government waste and inaction, was recognized this evening at the 13th annual Sunshine State Awards dinner.

The reporting team of Debbie Cenziper and Larry Lebowitz at The Miami Herald won 2007’s top honors, the James Batten Award for Public Service, for their series House of Lies, about years of failure by a Miami-based public housing agency to build promised homes and apartments for low-income families.

The same body of work also won a first in the large-newspaper category of the Gene Miller Awards for Investigative Reporting, presented in honor of the late Herald reporter and editor.  Among small newspapers, first went to Janine A. Zeitlin and colleagues at the Naples Daily News, whose reporting on “human trafficking” took them to Guatemala for a close-up look at families so impoverished they sell their daughters.

The complete list of winners is here.  The 1,282 entries of 2006 work by writers, editors, artists, broadcasters, photographers and web producers were evaluated by professional journalists from SPJ chapters outside Florida.  The contest supports the Society’s South Florida professional-development programs and scholarships for young men and women preparing for journalism careers.

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