The Dallas Bar Association honored Dallas-Fort Worth area journalists who exemplify excellence in legal reporting with its 34th Annual Stephen Philbin Awards on Friday.
The grand prize was awarded to Skip Hollandworth of Texas Monthly for “The Prisoner,” which tells the story of Edwin Debrow, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence for a murder committed at age 12. The story tackles the complex subject of what to to do longterm with children who commit violent crimes.
Other winners Friday were:
- Suburban/Specialty Article: Kathy Cruz, Hood County News, for her series “State of Despair”
- Series/Investigative Article: Matt Goodman, D Magazine, for his series, “Coverage of Dr. Duntsch, the First Doctor Convicted for Harming Patients”
- Breaking News: Naheed Rajwani, The Dallas Morning News, for her article “How a Texas Teen Accused of a Sexual Assault with a Coat Hanger Walked with Probation”
- Feature Article: Christian McPhate, Patrick Williams, Sarah Schumacher, and Danny Fulgencio, Dallas Observer, for their article “Untrue Detective”
- Visual/Multi-Media Story: Brett Shipp, Jason Trahan, and Mark Muller, WFAA-TV, for their article “Exonoree Payments Questioned”
- Student Publication: Matt Fulkerson, The Shorthorn at the University of Texas-Arlington, for his article “Studies Show Carcinogen Prevalence in Drinking Water”
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 $1,000 cash award, with the Grand Prize winner receiving a $1,750 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.