The Press Club of Dallas resurrected its Katies journalism competition this year, and the honors were handed out at a ceremony at Dallas’ Sixth Floor Museum on Saturday night. And that was … nice. Nice that the press club was able to pull the Katies contest, which funds journalism scholarships, out of the muck of scandal that swamped it last year, causing the 2007 version to be canceled. Nice place, nice crowd, nice program (about the Kennedy assassination, natch), and, for the Weekly, nice to come home with first-place statues in three of the five categories in our division in which prizes were awarded. (See Monday’s Blotch entry at www.fwweekly.com/blotch.asp?id=335 for more details.)
The Weekly staffers took firsts in business reporting (Dan McGraw, for his “Seventh Rising” story on developments in Fort Worth’s Cultural District), investigative (Peter Gorman’s “Bullies with Badges” about the many sins of Johnson County’s law enforcement establishment) and specialty reporting (editor Gayle Reaves’ “Tase-Mania,” which revealed how Texas law enforcement agencies are rethinking their use of the often-deadly Taser weapons). A third place in the investigative category went to Betty Brink, Eric Griffey, and freelance writer Pablo Lastra for “Code Red,” their groundbreaking story on the JPS hospital system’s failings.
Perhaps the evening’s nicest moment, at least for Static, was reading the judge’s comments on Gorman’s story: “Scary what rural law enforcement can get away with. Nice job convincing victims to be named and to tell their stories. And even sweeter job getting the sheriff and his posse to admit and attempt to defend their practices. Remind me never to drive through Johnson County.”
There’s the word – not just nice. Sweeeet.