Metro Pulse Wins 11 SPJ Awards Competing Against Large Daily Papers

Last Friday night, Knoxville’s media elite gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel for
the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists’ Golden Press Card Awards.
Which is to say, awards were doled out for the best regional reporting of 2010
among newspapers, television and radio stations, and assorted freelancers. And
we’re proud to say that Metro Pulse scooped up 11 awards.

This year we decided to compete against East Tennessee’s large-circulation daily
papers (including that sizable one here in town). The contest is divided between
large dailies, small dailies, and non-daily publications, but any contestant can
choose to compete in the large daily paper category. After the last few years of
wins in the non-daily category, we decided to pit our writers and artists against
bigger papers with larger staffs and more resources—because we’re confident our
work stands with the best that this end of the state has to offer. And the judges

Here’s the haul:

Investigative Reporting
Second Place: Frank Carlson for “Race, Abortion, and Distortions”
Local churches and Catholic Diocese officials are spreading a monumental
accusation—that Planned Parenthood is guilty of African-American genocide. Yes,
genocide. How did they get this idea? From a nationally distributed DVD that
purports to be a “documentary.” Nobody in town really questioned this charge
until Frank investigated it.

Sports Reporting
First Place: Jesse Fox Mayshark for “Exploiting U”
Second Place: Brooks Clark for “Crossing the T”
We do not have a sports staff. We don’t cover the Vols, really, except once a year.
Yet two stories from our football issue last year—one making the case for paying
student athletes, the other an in-depth profile of new UT Coach Derek Dooley—
took the top two prizes against newspapers with sports departments larger than
our entire editorial staff.

Feature Writing
Third Place: Jesse Fox Mayshark’s “Bullet Points”
Why do East Tennesseans love their guns? Pretty simple question, but one that
most advocates of gun control don’t even want to consider. While most non-gun-
owners are familiar with the NRA’s inexhaustible lobbying efforts, they don’t often
think much about why gun owners want guns in the first place, other than to
regard them as “gun nuts.” Jesse wanted to hear what they had to say, which can
only add more understanding to the ever-divisive issue.

Personal Column
Second Place: Jack Neely for Secret History
Our longest-running column and still our best. In my opinion, it’s had more
concrete effects on Knoxville’s progress than any other column in town. Jack will
be honored in July by the SPJ at their Front Page Follies.

Honorable Mention: Coury Turczyn for his movie reviews
I write ’em when I can.

Third Place: Lee Gardner for his Spoiler Alert column
Lee’s reviews of DVDs/Blu-rays/online movies are always enlightening and often

Second Place: Dave Prince for his Digital Hackery column
Most video game reviews are dull thumbs-up/thumbs-down affairs that read like
ingredient panels. Dave has something to say about games, and he’s always

Feature Photography

First Place: Shawn Poynter for his “Karaoke Superstars” photo story
Shawn’s photos of local karaoke joints say much more than any story we could’ve

Art Illustration
Second Place: Tyler Garrison for his cover illustration of the “The Knox BBQ Bible”
Last year’s summer issue was a BBQ blowout, and Tyler’s illustration of a would-
be backyard BBQ master chef set the tone.

Best Blog, Media Affiliated
Second Place: the entire staff for The Daily Pulse
Again, we don’t have an online staff or a webmaster—we just write what we can
when we aren’t busy assembling our next print edition (which still pays the bills
even in this all-things-online age).

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