The McClatchy Company today announced the winners of 10 McClatchy President’s Awards in the community newspaper division, an annual competition designed to recognize the best journalism at McClatchy’s non-daily papers.
Eight newspapers collected the 10 awards, which honor work published in 2011. The Chapel Hill News won two President's Awards, sweeping the features category with first- and second-place finishes.
First Place: The Chapel Hill News (North Carolina)
Associate Editor Dave Hart delivered his readers a spellbinding account of William Michael Dillon’s odyssey through 28 years of imprisonment in some of Florida’s harshest prisons and his 2008 release based on DNA evidence, which exonerated him of the murder for which he was convicted. But the narrative, which Hart crafted so well, takes us to a point of rebirth for the wronged man who survived the injustice of those years through a journey into the sweetness of music. He has now released a CD, “Black Robes and Lawyers,” which is the poetic testimony of the prison experience, made possible through the persistence of Jim Tullio, a Grammy Award winning producer. The “Exonerated Man” is a worthy winner.
Second Place: The Chapel Hill News (North Carolina)
House Is Home
This is a compassionate telling of the latest evolution in the long history of AIDS in the world, told so well by Editor Mark Schultz, who takes his readers on the road that Raymond McDaniel has traveled to these lingering days in a home for people with AIDS in Carrboro, N.C. For 15 years he has seen his friends die, and then has seen the little plaques placed in the dirt behind the back patio with the simple dates of their birth and death. But McDaniel, who thought for years that his plaque would have been placed in those ranks, has survived far beyond his expectations. To some, the plaques came to be painful reminders of those who had passed away. “House Is Home” helps readers realize that those with AIDS are living with their disease, not dying from it, and that the residence in Carrboro is helping them to survive