When news broke last week that Senior Writer Michael E. Miller had won the 2014 Sigma Delta Chi award for nondeadline writing, it was just the cherry on top of an unparalleled year of national prize-winning for Miami New Times.
Miller's award comes for his feature story "Champ," which tells the tale of John Snavely, a high-profile porn star convicted of murdering a millionaire from Washington, D.C. It is the second year in a row that Miller has taken top honors in the awards, which are among the most coveted in journalism and have been handed out by the Society for Professional Journalists since 1932.
Last year, he won in the deadline reporting category for "Death Trap," a tale about a police shooting that went terribly wrong. This year, the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Mother Jones were also among the winners. Westword, our sister newspaper in Denver, also picked up an award, for feature reporting.
The award comes one week after Managing Editor Tim Elfrink accepted a 2014 George Polk Award for his stories about Biogenesis, the Coral Gables clinic linked to selling performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes. Elfrink's stories resulted in a record-setting 15 suspensions for Major League Baseball players.
The Polk Awards were handed out at a New York ceremony headlined by the team that broke the story of Edward Snowden's NSA leaks, including Glen Greenwald, who journeyed to the U.S. (under significant legal threat) for the first time since his article to accept the prize.
Elfrink's work has also been a finalist for the Goldsmith Investigative Prize for Investigative Reporting — presented by Harvard University's Shorenstein Center — and the Investigative Reporters and Editors prize; his book based on the story, Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End the Steroid Era, will be published in July.
Finally, Staff Writer Terrence McCoy has taken home a prize in the Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism. McCoy has been honored for his story "Home Invasion," which detailed how a reclusive Miami Beach millionaire has quietly pumped millions into Israeli settlements. The Aronson's other three winners this year include the New York Times and a Pulitzer Prize-winning entry from the Center for Investigative Reporting.