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APRIL 19 DEADLINE QUICKLY APPROACHING: CALL FOR ENTRIES ISSUED FOR THE PARKER THOMSON AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING LEGAL JOURNALISM IN FLORIDA AND THE SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2019
CONTACT: Francine Walker; [email protected]
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE: 850-561-5834

The deadline for the call for entries has been extended for The Parker Thomson Awards for Outstanding Legal Journalism in Florida and the Susan Spencer-Wendel Lifetime Achievement Award. The new entry deadline is April 19, 2019.

The Florida Bar’s Media & Communications Law Committee has presented awards for stellar legal journalism for more than 60 years. In 2018, the media awards were renamed as a tribute to the late Miami lawyer Parker Davidson Thomson, for his countless contributions to media law. His expertise included helping newspapers obtain public records.

Qualified entries highlight the system of law and justice as it affects Floridians. Any newspaper, radio station, blog, television station, wire service or online-only publication located in Florida is eligible to enter.

Entries must have been published or produced between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018. Content of entries may be current or historical, objective or analytical in nature. Special consideration may be given to entries that demonstrate courage or tenacity on the part of the news medium or the journalists who produced the entry.

Reporters receiving first place will take home $500, and those receiving second place will get $250. If multiple reporters are by-lined on a winning entry, the cash award will be divided evenly among them. Reporters who choose not to accept the monetary prizes may opt to donate to the First Amendment Foundation. All honorees and their media outlets will receive plaques.

Media organizations large and small are encouraged to enter. Judging criteria are not based on the greatest amount of resources used, but whether those resources available are used well and to the fullest in the tradition of outstanding journalism.

Awards are presented in four categories:

Print:

Any non-opinion-based news material with a printed component, whether presented in print or online.

Any opinion-based material in a newspaper with a printed component, including blogs, editorials and columns, whether presented in print or online.

Television:

Any broadcast story or series that investigates a single issue.

Any broadcast story or series that continuously follows a single subject/trial.

Radio:

Any broadcast story or series that investigates a single issue.

Any broadcast story or series that continuously follows a single subject/trial.

Online-Only Publications:

Any online story or series, commentary, editorial cartoon or photo focusing on a single issue.

Any online story or series that continuously covers a single subject/trial.

The awards jury consists of two out-of-state journalists, two Florida lawyers with substantial experience in journalism and/or media law, and one Florida educator of journalism or law. The determination of the awards jury is final and is not reviewed by The Florida Bar. The Florida Bar does not endorse the content of the winning entries.

SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Susan Spencer-Wendel Lifetime Achievement Award honors a retired or working journalist who has written or reported extensively in an outstanding fashion to educate citizens on the system of law and justice as it affects the people of Florida. Spencer-Wendel was a veteran Palm Beach Post courts reporter who died in 2014 after a well-documented fight with ALS. She received a lifetime achievement award from The Florida Bar’s Media & Communications Law Committee in 2012 and numerous other media awards throughout her career.

In 2015, Martin A. Dyckman, who retired after 47 years at the St. Petersburg Times, was the first recipient of the award.

The award recipient will receive a cash prize of $500, a plaque and travel reimbursement to attend the awards ceremony. A reporter who chooses not to accept the monetary prize may opt to donate to the First Amendment Foundation. The Parker Thomson and Susan Spencer-Wendel media awards will be presented at the Florida Media Conference in July, in St. Petersburg. Winners will be notified in advance.

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EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."