Winners of the Society of Professional Journalists' (SPJ) inaugural Sunshine State Awards were announced this past Saturday at a banquet in Boca Raton. In the competition, judged by SPJ chapters from out of state and open to dailies and weeklies in twelve south and southwest Florida counties, New Times staffers came away with fifteen awards for work published in 1994, leading all entrants in the weekly division.
New Times swept the enterprise/investigative category, with Jim DeFede winning top honors for "Asbestos 101," Elise Ackerman earning a second place for "Bad Medicine," and Kirk Semple taking third place for "Running on Empty." The paper also scored all three awards in the critical writing division -- restaurant writer Jen Karetnick took the top spot, theater critic Pamela Gordon came in second, and film critic Todd Anthony won third place.
In the business category, New Times writers won second and third place awards, for "The Great Bistro Brawl" by Jim DeFede and "Going for Broke" by former staffer Donald W. Pine. Art Levine's "Reach Out and Help Someone" took first place in feature writing, while Kathy Glasgow's "Roxanne" came in second. In nondeadline sports reporting, Glasgow's "A Labor of Gloves" earned a first place.
In foreign reporting, which was not broken down into divisions, writer Judy Cantor's story "Art in Cuba" won a third place award.
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New Times art director Brian Stauffer dominated the design portion of the contest, winning first place honors among weeklies for special page design, feature front design, and front page design.