Journalism done right: Post honored with nine winners in state contest

The Palm Beach Post took home nine awards, including a first-place finish for food and dining editor Liz Balmaseda, at the Florida Society of News Editors annual journalism contest, announced Thursday in Naples.

Balmaseda, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who has worked at The Post since 2006, won for commentary for writings that included her take on the death of Fidel Castro and a first-person account of how her portrait came to be on display in the Smithsonian Institution.

Balmaseda, who was born in Cuba, was awarded her first Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1993 with The Miami Herald for her columns on the plight of Cuban and Haitian refugees. Her second was awarded for breaking news reporting in 2001 for her role in covering the story of Elián González.

The Post’s “Heroin: Killer of a Generation” earned second-place finishes for community leadership and investigative reporting. More than a dozen Post staff writers worked on the stories in 2016 that detailed corruption in sober homes and told the stories of the 216 people who died from heroin-related overdoses in Palm Beach County in 2015.

The top investigative reporting prize went to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers project from The Miami Herald and the International Consortium of Journalists. It also won FSNE’s Gold Medal for Public Service. The Herald’s yearlong reporting on corruption in Opa-locka won FSNE’s community leadership award.

Photojournalist Thomas Cordy took home two awards. He finished second in features video for his one-minute, 39-second video of Post reporter Kimberly Miller reporting in August 2016 on a feud over the elimination of invasive plants in the Everglades.

His photos, including two from ride-alongs with Boynton Beach police responding to overdose calls, earned second place for breaking news photography.

Hal Habib won second-place in sports writing for a package that included his story after Muhammad Ali’s June 2016 death about the boxer’s early days in Miami.

Leslie Gray Streeter took third in column writing for personal tales of her husband’s sudden death and how it influenced her and their child.

Reporters Wayne Washington, Jennifer Sorentrue and Andrew Marra finished third in beat reporting for their coverage of a proposed $2.7 billion sales-tax hike that would have provided money for private, not-for-profit cultural organizations.

Staff writer Charles Elmore won third place in business reporting on insurance issues, including the personal bankruptcy of a candidate for insurance commissioner.

“These awards reflect our commitment to investigative reporting, insightful commentary and creative storytelling,” Post Editor Nick Moschella said. “It’s extra special to stand tall in a state renowned for excellence in journalism.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Autopsy report: Roy Halladay had drugs in system when plane crashed
Autopsy report: Roy Halladay had drugs in system when plane crashed

An autopsy on former major-leaguer Roy Halladay showed that he had amphetamines, morphine and a sleep aid in his system when he died in a plane crash off the west coast of Florida, The Tampa Bay Times reported Friday. Halladay, 40, died Nov. 7 from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical...
Massachusetts couple accidentally donates savings hidden in a soup can
Massachusetts couple accidentally donates savings hidden in a soup can

Amanda Mattuchio said her parents use a fake can of Campbell's Tomato Soup to hide their cash. Unfortunately, they stored it alongside real soup cans in their kitchen. “The bottom would unscrew and it had $2,500 in it and it was a combination of $100 and $50 bills,” she said. “The neighbor upstairs asked them if they had any canned...
Ibuprofen appears to mess with male hormones. Should you be worried?

In recent decades, prompted by concerns that men’s sperm quality is declining, researchers have looked at things they suspect of potentially disrupting the body’s endocrine system - from chemicals in water bottles to WiFi laptops to wearing tight underwear instead of boxers. You can add ibuprofen to the list. In a study published in the...
Lifestyle changes for better blood pressure
Lifestyle changes for better blood pressure

If you’re worried about high blood pressure, there are some things you can do beyond taking appropriate medication. The American Heart Association (AHA) points to some not-so-difficult lifestyle changes to delay or lower high pressure and reduce the risk of illnesses associated with it, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Here&rsquo...
So what’s high blood pressure?
So what’s high blood pressure?

When headlines about new blood pressure guidelines pinged across my phone recently, I remembered a man my inpatient team had admitted to the hospital not long ago. He had gotten up in the middle of the night to use the toilet and passed out, hitting his head on the floor. The first people to find him described him twitching, so he initially got a battery...
More Stories