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Best Herald Reporter Miami 2009 - Larry Lebowitz

As we enter the final, gasping, dying breaths of the newspaper era, it is nice to see there are still a few Miami Herald veterans who continue to put out insightful, probing, hard-hitting journalism. At a time when thousands of unemployed shoe leather scribes are contemplating how they're gonna turn their buyout into the next big new media adventure, guys and gals like Larry Lebowitz keep churning out news articles that leave your fingers black with ink. And his words are worth every stain, because Lebowitz knows Miami-Dade County better than the guy who has to take a Metrobus from his house in Homestead to his job in Aventura. For more than a decade, Lebowitz has produced an impressive cache of clips. When he was the Herald's court reporter, Lebowitz wrote about everything from Deerfield Beach gun smugglers doing business with the Irish Republican Army to the story of a federal judge who went after a couple of DEA agents who defied a court order barring them from using a convicted smuggler in a sting. Lebowitz has gone on to shine as the Herald's transportation guru. Through his weekly column, "Streetwise," Lebowitz takes local government officials to task by exposing the never-ending bungling of the half-penny sales tax to fund mass transit in Miami-Dade while also offering his own perspective on how to make commuting bearable in sun-soaked traffic jams. In 2007, Lebowitz was honored by the South Florida Society of Professional Journalists when he and Debbie Cenziper won the James Batten Award for Public Service Journalism and the Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting for the "House of Lies" series. We only hope the Herald doesn't implode so that Lebowitz can keep his job.

My Voice Nation Help

I have known Larry since 1980 and have read his work starting with the Free Press at Boston University to the Brockton Enterprise to some obscure paper in Maine to the Times Herald Record in Middletown, NY to the Orlando Sentinel to the Miami Herald (and I'm sure I missed a few of his stops in between)and I have to say that he is what will be missed if and when the newspaper, as we know it, leaves us. His insights and world view are sometimes off the beaten path but his technique, wordplay and passion for journalism cannot be beat...or beaten (Larry would be able to tell you the proper word to use). I, for one, love newspapers and will continue to stain my fingers with their ink until they all go under.