Hollywood has its award season early in the year, but the news media waits till summertime to celebrate all of its kick-ass work from the past 12 months. This year, both Miami New Times and sister paper New Times Broward-Palm Beach had banner returns from a range of contests. The papers collected 17 first-place awards and a total of more than 30 wins.
Miami managing editor Tim Elfrink brought home a shiny black plaque from the George Polk Awards, where he won for sports reporting for his series about the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables. Elfrink's in-depth reporting on performance-enhancing drugs also scored the Claudia Ross Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting from the Florida Press Association and took first place for investigative reporting in the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) contest. Elfrink was among six finalists for Harvard's Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and also a finalist at the Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards.
Elfrink isn't the only New Times writer to nab national hardware this year. Senior staff writer Michael E. Miller took top honors at the Sigma Delta Chi Awards, presented by the Society for Professional Journalists, for "Champ," his tale of a porn star accused of murder. At the AAN Awards, Miller's work scored two first-place wins, for diversity reporting and economic inequality reporting, and he also won first place for politics reporting and sports reporting at the Green Eyeshade Awards, which the Society for Professional Journalists presents to writers in the Southeast.
Miami editor Chuck Strouse took first place for column writing at the Florida Press Association banquet, and former critic Emily Codik won first place at the AAN Awards for food writing.
At Broward-Palm Beach, staff writer Kyle Swenson took home three first-place prizes from the Florida Press Association, for feature writing, faith and family reporting, and outdoor writing, while staff writer Allie Conti won first place for in-depth reporting. And former staff writer Terrence McCoy received the national James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism for a piece about funding for Israeli settlements.
Don't be alarmed — that loud noise you just heard was the champagne poppin'.