2007 MRE Journalism Contest winners announced

ESPN.com Wins 2007 Galloway Award

The investigation by ESPN.com into the death of Army Ranger and former NFL star Spc. Pat Tillman took the top prize in this year’s journalism competition held by Military Reporters and Editors.

“These journalism awards honor not only the winners but all the men and women who cover war, aboard and at home,” said MRE President James W. Crawley. “Without their courage and perseverance, the public would be ill informed.”

“Everyday, journalists in Iraq, Afghanistan, the United States and elsewhere report about the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen serving in the U.S. military. Often, these reporters and photographers endure the same hardships and dangers of combat troops. Sometimes, unfortunately, they also make the same ultimate sacrifices of those in uniform,” Crawley added.

“An Un-American Tragedy,” reported and written by ESPN.com senior writer Mike Fish, will be honored Oct. 12 at the MRE national convention in Arlington, Va. Fish will receive the Joseph L. Galloway Award for Distinguished Journalism and a $2,000 check from MRE. The multimedia presentation also won the online category.

This was the first year that MRE included online and television works in its annual competition. Other categories included print and photojournalism.

Judges said Fish “presented a riveting account of the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s death by friendly fire.”

Posted on the ESPN.com website as a series July 19-21, 2006, the material became the foundation for a television program, called “Tillman’s Final Mission,” aired on the ESPN cable network. The TV program won for best television story in the television category.

This year’s competition was judged by faculty members at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Other winners, by category, are:

Overseas coverage — large newspaper/magazine:
First place — Greg Jaffe, Wall Street Journal, for “A Camp Divided,” about the U.S. military advisory program in Iraq.

Overseas coverage — small newspaper/magazine:
First place — Monte Morin, Stars and Stripes, for “Back on his Feet,” about Marines and how they reacted to adversity in Iraq.

Domestic coverage — large newspaper/magazine:
First place — Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, for his sensitive stories about soldiers and their families.
Honorable mention — Mike Wagner and Russell Carollo, Dayton Daily News for “Lethal Protection,” an investigative article about Humvee accidents.

Domestic coverage — small newspaper/magazine:
First place — Maximillian Potter, 5280 Magazine, for “Nobody’s Hero,” an article examining workplace issues for returning reservists.
Honorable mention — James Kitfield, National Journal, for articles about the Pentagon’s management and mismanagement of the Iraq war.

Networks/Large Market:
First place — ESPN, “Tillman’s Final Mission,” an investigation into the friendly fire death of former NFL star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman and subsequent cover-up.

Small market:
First place: WJHL, Johnson City, Tenn., for “Infamy: 65 Years Later,” a special report on the veterans of World War II.

First place: ESPN.com, “An Un-American Tragedy,” a three-part multimedia series about the death of Pat Tillman and subsequent cover-up by the Army.

No winner was named in the photography categories.

The winners and honorable mention recipients will be honored Oct. 12 during the organization’s keynote luncheon.

Military Reporters and Editors is the professional organization for journalists who cover the military, national security, veterans’ affairs and homeland security. It’s professional members include newspaper, television, radio and online journalists, photographers and videographers. Students, academicians, retired journalists and public affairs professionals serve as non-voting members.

Formed in 2002, the group serves as an advocate for openness by the Defense Department, a resource for journalists covering war and other conflicts and an educational forum for the media, military and public.

The organization will hold its annual conference Oct. 11-13, 2007, in the Washington area at the Doubletree Crystal City in Arlington, Va.