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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Florida Society of Newspaper Editors honors Times staffers
The annual contest lauds three reporters, an editorial writer and two designers, plus tbt*.
By BILL DURYEA
Published June 23, 2007
Florida has more wetlands than any other state but Alaska. They stop floods, clean up water pollution, and replenish drinking supplies. Yet despite government promises they are disappearing.
St. Petersburg Times senior correspondent Susan Taylor Martin on Friday received the Paul Hansell Distinguished Journalism Award from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors.
Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite won the 2007 Waldo Proffitt Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism in Florida for their story "When Dry is Wet." This is the second year in a row the pair have won the award and the third time for Pittman, who also won in 2004. They share the award this year with the Orlando Sentinel.
The Times won four other awards in the annual contest, one first-place and three third-place for editorial writing and design. tbt*/tampa bay times, the free tabloid newspaper published five days a week by the Times, won first place in a new category called Innovation/Drives Audience.
Martin won the Hansell award, which recognizes overall excellence in reporting and writing, for an array of 10 foreign and national stories in 2006 that included the haunting account of young Pakistani boys who were taken from their families to serve as camel jockeys for wealthy Arabs, an investigation into shoddy construction work of U.S.-funded schools in Afghanistan and the unsecured border between Canada and the United States.
Martin joined the Times in 1982 as executive business editor. She moved to the national reporting staff in 1986 and became a deputy managing editor in 1992. She returned to writing in January 1997 as senior correspondent covering foreign affairs.
She received a $1,000 check and a plaque named in honor of Hansell, a former longtime Associated Press bureau chief in Florida.
Pittman and Waite's stories took an in-depth look at an industry that has reaped millions of dollars from state and federal taxpayers by promising to make up for destroying wetlands. The stories reported numerous problems with wetland mitigation banks, including the fact that several are not in fact wet.
The judges called tbt* "extremely well-done, covering pop culture and stories that never would have seen the light of day on page one of the mother publication. But it does not forsake traditional journalism in the pursuit of finding new readers."
Tim Nickens, deputy editor of editorials, won third place for editorials on Florida legislative practices. Jessica Parker Gilbert won third place for feature page design in Floridian and Gustavo Hernandez won third place for news/business design for a Pasco Times story called "Taken Before Their Time."
Andrew Barnes, former chairman, chief executive officer and editor of the St. Petersburg Times, was inducted into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame by the Florida Press Association. The Hall of Fame was created in 1989 to support and encourage newspaper journalism in Florida and to honor those who have made significant contributions.
Gov. Charlie Crist was presented the Pete Weitzel Friend of the First Amendment Award for the second time from the First Amendment Foundation.
Marty Petty, publisher and executive vice president of the Times, was elected chairwoman of the Florida Press Association for 2007-08.
Jeanne Grinstead, deputy managing editor of the Times, was elected FSNE president for 2007-08.