PI editorials win American Society of News Editors award
The Post Independent on Tuesday was named a winner in the American Society of News Editors annual contest, along with the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, ProPublica and three other winners.
PI Editor Randy Essex won the 2016 Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership for editorials championing immigrant rights.
Recent past winners of the Osborne Award were the Boston Globe in 2015 and the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 2014. This year’s other finalists were the Indianapolis Star and Tampa Bay Times.
The three editorials entered in the contest:
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• “Release money for immigrant licenses” called for the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee and Rep. Bob Rankin to break a partisan deadlock last winter and authorize spending of fees for issuing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
• “We stand in support of immigrants” called for a broader path to residency and citizenship and banned the use of “illegal” and “anchor babies” as labels in letters to the editor and guest opinions.
• “We need immigration law grounded in reality” decried Donald Trump’s plan to deport 11 million immigrants as a humanitarian and economic disaster.
The judges said of the entry:
“In powerful and persuasive editorials, Randy Essex champions Latino immigrants, both legal and undocumented, in his own community and beyond. Decrying calls for the U.S. to deport undocumented immigrants or, in Colorado, to deprive them of basic services, such as driver’s licenses, Essex delineates their contributions … and implores readers to value them and support a path to citizenship. He uses solid research and searing sentiment to reach readers’ minds and hearts.”
“I am extremely proud that the PI was recognized with this coveted award,” said Publisher Michael Bennett. “In less than two years, Essex has transformed the PI from a good paper to a newspaper that provides compelling storytelling daily. And in the case of his editorials on immigration, he has helped us take a stronger leadership role in our community.“
Said Essex, “It’s a great honor that a small newspaper’s editorials can be amplified through this award to call for decency toward Latinos in our nation of immigrants. These are our neighbors, and our communities are enriched by their experiences, their work and their voices.”
The award, in the memory of Dallas Morning News executive Burl Osborne, recognizes editorial writing that is excellent journalism and makes a difference in a community. As editor, president and ultimately publisher, Osborne, who died in 2012, led The Morning News to national prominence and a string of Pulitzer Prizes. He was also chairman of the board of The Associated Press and was a president of ASNE.
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