The Dallas Bar Association honored Dallas-Fort Worth area journalists who exemplify excellence in legal reporting with its 33rd Annual Stephen Philbin Awards on Friday.
The grand prize was awarded to Michael Hall of Texas Monthly for “The Outcast,” which tells the story of a convicted sex offender who proclaims his innocence while trying to live under Texas’ restrictive laws. Hall also won a Texas Gavel Award this year for the same piece.
Other winners Friday were:
- Electronic Media News/Feature: Jocelyn Allison and Jess Davis, Law360, for “Made in Texas: The Battle to Ground a Rocket Docket”
- Metropolitan/Statewide Spot News: Jennifer Emily, The Dallas Morning News, for “My Life is Not Worthless”
- Metropolitan/Statewide Series of Articles: Jennifer Emily and Diane Jennings, The Dallas Morning News, for “Kids or Criminals: Growing Up and Getting Out”
- Magazine Feature Article: Mary Mapes, D Magazine, for “Who Was the Real Killer?”
- Metropolitan/Statewide Newspaper Feature: Amy Martyn, Dallas Observer, for “Dallas Valet Drivers are Taken for a Ride”
- Radio/Television News Report: the KDFW-TV team of Lori Brown, Vicki Chen, Glenn Dickson and Bob Hawman, for “Broken System Fails Abused Animals in Dallas”
- Suburban Newspaper Article: Kathy Cruz, Hood County News, for her work on the article “Landmark Study Concluded”
The Philbin Awards, established in 1983, honor Stephen Philbin, who was an active member of the Dallas Bar Association and a leading authority on media law. Winners in each of the categories receive a $750 cash award, with the Grand Prize winner receiving a $1,500 cash award.
According to a news release on the winning entries, judges considered educational value, accuracy, resourcefulness, as well as the journalist’s initiative in pursuing the story and the story’s contribution to public debate.