Press Club of Dallas Names Finalists for Hugh Aynesworth Excellence in Journalism Awards

Organizers of the first Hugh Aynesworth Excellence in Journalism Awards, sponsored by the Press Club of Dallas, named 17 news organizations and their reporters, photographers and editors as finalists. The awards will be presented at a November 30 dinner at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas.

WFAA TV Sports Anchor Dale Hanson will serve as host for the event, which is open to the public. The awards honor work by Texas journalists completed in 2016. The awards are named for veteran reporter and long-time Press Club member Hugh Aynesworth, a Pulitzer Prize finalist ur times.

The 17 finalists represent news reporting from throughout Texas in seven categories: daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, television, radio, digital news sites and photography/video. Winners and finalists will be announced for work done in investigative reporting, feature reporting, spot news photography and feature photography.

“These finalists represent some of the best work in journalism throughout the state of Texas in 2016,” said press club president Cary Broussard. “It confirms that, despite financial challenges and intensified scrutiny from the public, journalism is an essential and necessary part of a free society.”

The finalists range from large newspapers and television stations like as the Austin American Statesman and Dallas Morning News and KXAS TV in Dallas and KSAT TV in San Antonio to weekly newspapers like Howe Enterprise and Mission Progress Times.

“We’re really impressed that such a diverse group of journalists entered a first-time competition,” Broussard said. “I think it’s fair to say that journalism is alive and well in Texas.”

Broussard thanked award dinner co-chairs Jo Ann Holt-Caussey and Barry Hoffman for their work. Holt-Caussey is a veteran Dallas editor and reporter whose body of work was recognized by the Press Club of Dallas with a 2016 North Texas Legends Award. She has been an active press club member since 1982. Hoffman, a Dallas native, was an reporter and editor in the Northeast for almost 50 years, both in broadcast journalism and newspapers. He is a past president of the New York State Associated Press Association.

Judges for the Aynesworth Awards are from the Northeast and West Coast, and had no association with any of the news organizations or individuals who entered the contest. They include Jean Patman, who directed Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign coverage for the Long Island newspaper Newsday; Tim Smart, executive editor of US News and World Report; Stephani Shelton and Andrew Fisher, veteran reporters and writers for CBS and NBC television news operations; Ed Tobias, former assistant managing editor of Associated Press Radio in Washington, DC.; and Robert Rodriguez, photo editor of the US headquarters of The Daily Mail in New York City. A complete list of judges is available at the Press Club of Dallas website – — under the heading “Aynesworth Awards.”

There are a limited number of tickets to the Thursday, Nov. 30 awards dinner. The cost is $50 and includes food and beverage. The tickets go on sale Oct. 5, available under the heading “Aynesworth Awards” on the press club website.

Here is a list of finalists for reporting and photography in 2016:

Investigative Reporting

Daily newspapers
The Austin American-Statesman Investigates team, Oct. 21, 2016
“Silent majority: Texas’ booming Hispanic population deeply underrepresented in local politics”

Miles Moffeit and Sue Ambrose, the Dallas Morning News, Dec. 2, 2016
“Bled Dry: How a hospital died under the care of a Texas doctor”

FOX4 KDFW Dallas/Ft. Worth
“Broken System Fails Abused Animals” May 16 and 17, 2016
Reporter – Lori Brown; Investigative Producer – Vicki Chen

Reporter – Scott Friedman; investigative producer – Eva Parks; photographer – Peter Hull; law enforcement expert – Don Peritz
“Big Buses, Bigger Problems,” first reporting in a continuing series aired Oct. 4, 2016

KSAT 12 San Antonio
Investigative Reporter – Myra Arthur; Investigative Producer – Dillon Collier; Investigative Photojournalist/Editor – Josh Saunders
“When Moments Matter” aired Nov. 10, 2016

KERA, Dallas
Reporter: Lauren Silverman,
“Pastoral Medicine Credentials Raise Questions In Texas” April 6, 2016

Reporters: Stella Chavez, KERA; Laura Isensee, KUHF
“Latino Superintendents Lead School Districts In Texas’ Eight Largest Cities”, Sept. 20, 2016


The Advocate Media Magazine, Oak Cliff
Reporter: Keri Mitchell
“Why do so many suburban students attend Dallas ISD’s top magnet schools?”
Nov. 18, 2016

Fort Worth Magazine
Reporter – Sean Chaffin
“Tarrant County Cold Cases Await Evidence, Witnesses” December Issue 2016

Digital news site
The Arlington Voice
Reporter – Mike McGee
“City, mum on alleged police quota system, refusing document releases”
July 21, 2016

Feature Writing

Daily Newspapers

Phil Jankowski, Austin American-Statesman
“A Rambler’s Life” Dec. 1, 2016

Weekly Newspapers
Progress Times
Reporter: Jose De Leon III
“Samaritans donate new abode to Mission octogenarian,” Dec. 9, 2016

Howe Enterprise
Reporter – Monte Walker
“EF1 Tornado; EF5 Community” May 2, 2016


KSTX San Antonio Public Radio
Reporter David Martin Davies
“Lessons Learned from a night in the Bexar County jail” Oct. 21, 2016

KSTX, San Antonio Public Radio
Reporter Paul Flahive
“Ease In Anti-Overdose Drug Access Leads To More Lives Saved” June 24, 2016

Newspaper Photography

Spot News

Robert Moore, Dallas Voice, July 7, 2016
“Dallas police officer showing stress from mass shooting”

Feature photography

Jay Janner, Austin American-Statesman
“South by Southwest Music Festival photo essay” Oct. 1, 2016

Editor’s Note:
Photograph of Hugh Aynesworth interviewing Marina Oswald is courtesy of the Tom C. Dillard Collection, The Dallas Morning News / The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza