2006 MRE Journalism Contest winners announced

Journal’s Jaffe nabs Galloway Award

Stripers, others grab writing, photography categories

WASHINGTON — Military Reporters & Editors is pleased to announce that Greg Jaffe of the Wall Street Journal is the recipient of this year’s Joseph L. Galloway Award for Distinguished Journalism. The award carries a $2,000 prize. The award will be presented during the organization’s annual conference at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., Oct. 27 and 28.

The annual contest aims to recognize the best work among journalists covering the military, both in the war zone and back in the States. “This year was no exception,” said Sig Christenson, MRE President. “We congratulate the winners and thank all those who entered the contest.”

With a little luck and some extra money, he added, MRE hopes to expand the number of categories receiving cash awards next year.

Other winners are:

Category: Overseas Coverage (greater than 100,000 circ.) Winners:

  • Dayton Daily News for “Justice at War” by Russell Carollo and Larry Kaplow
    This was an exhaustive investigation revealing that military personnel committing crimes against Iraqis were treated more leniently than for similar crimes prosecuted under the civilian justice system. The statistical evidence is interesting; the evaluation of some individual cases is fascinating and all is compellingly written.
  • Greg Jaffe of The Wall Street Journal
    Jaffe’s three stories in this entry provide some fascinating insight into the difficulties U.S. forces are facing in trying to stabilize Iraq. We practically witness the frustrations of those involved.

Category: Overseas Coverage (less than 100,000 circ.) Winners:

  • Monte Morin, Stars and Stripes
    Series of articles from Iraq in autumn of 2005 caught the human angle in the middle of angst. Extremely well-written. Engaging. Morin has an eye for finding interesting people and then letting those characters lead the story. Again, great writing here.
  • Joseph Giordono, Stars and Stripes
    Series of stories on the U.S. Army’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division during its final days of a one-year Iraq experience that killed or injured one of four soldiers assigned to the unit. Terrific reporting. Emotional writing. A winner.
  • Honorable Mention: Nancy Montgomery, Stars and Stripes
    Account of the U.S. Army 212th Mobile Surgical Hospital in its attempts to provide aid to Pakistani people following the October 2005 earthquake that killed 80,000 persons. Compelling, sad stories.

Category: Domestic Coverage (greater than 100,000 circ) Winners:

  • The Sacramento Bee for “Women at War” by Pamela Martineau and Steve Wiegand
    A brilliant example of journalism that offers numerous revelations – epiphanies almost – of the difficulties faced by women in uniform. The series notes at the beginning that this is first time since the founding of the Republic that America is at war with a military that is dependent on women. This series should be read by anyone interested in the modern U.S. military, and particularly by reporters who cover the military.
  • Greg Jaffe of The Wall Street Journal
    Jaffe reports on the efforts of an amputee to return to combat; the strain on military families during wartime; the psychological toll on soldiers who have come home; and a fascinating examination of the morality of killing in combat. Jaffe reports that “there is no established program or training for commanders who want to talk with their soldiers about killing and its aftermath, leaving soldiers and commanders to cobble together their own solutions.”

Category: Domestic Coverage (less than 100,000 circ.) Winners:

  • Ben Fenwick, Oklahoma Gazette
    Articles on the Oklahoma National Guard 45th Infantry Brigade’s work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Extremely well-written stories. Great narrative description. Tremendous attention to detail. First-class work all the way.
  • Dennis Anderson, Antelope Valley Press
    Two columns that relate the human horror or war. The writing is so good, so compelling that the newspaper should provide Kleenex to its readers because this guy can make you cry.
  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Michael Yon, Northwest Guardian – “Injured Commander Keeping Tabs on Unit.”
    • Heath Druzin, The Idaho Statesman – “Injured Marine Takes First Steps in New Life.”
    • Lisa Horn, St. Joseph Press. – “Fighting the Demon Within.”
    • Christian Lowe, Marine Corps Times. – “Flawed Body Armor.”

Category: Photography, large newspapers: Winner: Kim Komenich, San Francisco Chronicle

Category: Photography, small newspapers: Winner: Fred Zimmerman, Stars & Stripes