WASHINGTON—The McClatchy Washington Bureau and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram received top honors in the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards, the University of Missouri School of Journalism has announced.
"Discharged and Dishonored," a series on the nation's dysfunctional veterans disability system, won an award for best consumer affairs reporting from the competition, which recognizes outstanding feature sections as well as health and consumer reporting.
The Star-Telegram was cited for general excellence for features sections for mid-sized newspapers.
The veterans package, by reporters Chris Adams and Alison Young, was written in 2005 when the bureau was operated by Knight Ridder. The stories, which detailed extensive delays and mistakes within the Department of Veterans Affairs' disability compensation system, were published by all of the chain's 32 papers.
The McClatchy Co. has since acquired Knight Ridder and its Washington bureau.
Judges called the veterans articles "a powerful piece of investigative, public service journalism. These reporters combined the tools of computer-assisted reporting and old-fashioned interviewing with the classic journalistic commitment to right a wrong. The reporting is both broad and deep, the writing compelling. It's no surprise that this is work that led to reform."
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, also owned by McClatchy, won the award for general excellence for features sections for mid-sized newspapers.
Judges said the feature section "has both depth and breadth. ... The pages are full of staff-written stories and photographs, the design demonstrates the staff members know how people use newspapers, and the content is both fun and informative. You get a sense of the community as you peruse these sections."
Among other winners: The Washington Post, which won two awards, including one for the best large-circulation newspaper feature section. The full list of winners is available at http://journalism.missouri.edu/lifestyle/2006-winners.html
"Discharged and Dishonored" previously won several other national awards, including honors from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Press Club and the Newspaper Guild.