NLGJA 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award Winners

NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists – announces the recipients of its Excellence in Journalism Awards and salutes their exemplary work in 2015, and among the winners is Connextions Magazine Editor In Chief.

The NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBTQ community. Expanded to 30 awards in 2016, awards will be presented for excellence in Bisexual Coverage, Blogging, Book Writing, Column Writing, Digital Edition, Digital Video, Documentary, Feature Writing, Feature Writing (Non-Daily), Health or Fitness Coverage, HIV/AIDS Coverage, Local Television, Multimedia, Network Television, Newswriting, Newswriting (Non-Daily), Online Journalism, Opinion/Editorial Writing, Photojournalism, Podcasts, Profile Writing, Radio, Social Media, Sports Writing, Student Journalism, Transgender Coverage and Travel Writing in addition to several special recognition awards.

“NLGJA saw unprecedented growth in nominations for the Excellence in Journalism awards during our 25th Anniversary last year,” said NLGJA Awards Chair April Hunt. “This year, we expanded the categories to more than double last year’s offerings, continuing to award small and mid-sized publications, and saw exponential growth in nominated work.”

The 2016 NLGJA Journalist of the Year is Dominic Holden, National LGBT Reporter for BuzzFeed. “Holden presents a really strong mix of thoughtful trans stories, a good take on familiar subject matter, some really strong characters and good depth,” wrote one judge. Holden additionally took second place in Newswriting (Non-daily) for Why Are Black Transgender Women Getting Killed in Detroit?

This year’s Sarah Pettit LGBT Journalist of the Year Award goes to Lucas Grindley, Vice President and Editorial Director for Here Media. “Impressive work,” one judge praised. “Grindley has smart and thoughtful treatment of chosen topics.”

With generous support from the Gannett Foundation, the 2016 Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism is presented to Jim Burress. The award, which includes a $5,000 grant, will be presented to Jim Burress for Fulton County Doesn’t Spend, Loses HIV Prevention Money. “Burress’ story was very well done, with deep sourcing to connect the facts for us and show the impact,” one judge commented. “The human elements of his story offset deep data research,” said another.


The complete list of award winners include:

Special recognition awards:

Journalist of the Year Award

First: Dominic Holden, BuzzFeed News

Second: Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast


Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBT Journalist of the Year

First: Lucas Grindley, Here Media

Second: Erik Hall,


The Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism

First: Jim Burress for “Fulton County Doesn’t Spend, Loses HIV Prevention Money,” 90.1 WABE


Print/online awards:

Excellence in Book Writing

First: Mark Segal for “And Then Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality,” Akashic Books


Excellence in Feature Writing Award

First: Berlin Sylvestre for “Damascus to Denver: Exodus From Syria,” OUT FRONT Magazine


Excellence in Feature Writing Award (Non-daily)

First: Michael Lindenberger for “The Vanishing Terrain of Gay America,” The New Republic

Second: Tre’vell Anderson for “Jewel’s Catch One Disco’s Demise Marks Era’s End for L.A.’s Gay Blacks,” L.A. Times


Excellence in News Writing Award

First: Andy Birkey for “Dozens of Christian Schools Win Title IX Waivers to Ban LGBT Students,” The Column

Second: Daniel Burke for “Exclusive: Pope Held Private Meeting with Same-Sex Couple in U.S.,” CNN


Excellence in News Writing Award (Non-daily)

First: Gretchen Rachel Hammond for “LGBT Immigrants Still Face Hurdles,” Windy City Times

Second: Dominic Holden for “Why Are Black Transgender Women Getting Killed in Detroit?” BuzzFeed News


Excellence in Photojournalism Award

First: Preston Gannaway for “Soccer on the Streets,” ESPN

Second: Bradley Secker for “A Gay Refugee Sold His Kidney to Escape Iran,” BuzzFeed News


Excellence in Profile Writing Award

First: The Advocate Staff for “40 Under 40: Intersectional Voices,” The Advocate

Second: Tim Teeman for “Jane Clementi: I Almost Killed Myself After Tyler’s Suicide–This Is How I Survived,” The Daily Beast


Excellence in Sports Writing Award

First: Erik Hall for “Uncle’s Death Motivates Gay College Athlete to Create Change,”


Excellence in Student Journalism Award

First: Nicole Wiesenthal for “Collection,” South Florida Gay News

Second: Earl Jordan Lalata for “The Right to Privacy,” Xpress Magazine


Excellence in Travel Writing Award

First: Manny Velasquez-Paredes for “The Great Family Escape: The Lake George Adventure,” Connextions Magazine (Read the winning article here: The Great Family Escape)


Digital awards:

Excellence in Blogging

First: Mark S. King for “My Fabulous Disease,” My Fabulous Disease

Second: Pamela Valentine for “Affirmed Mom of a Transgender Child,”


Excellence in a Digital Edition Award

First: Mark Calvey, Krystal Peak, Jim Gardner, Chris Rauber and Ron Leuty for “Business of Pride Special Edition,” San Francisco Business Times


Excellence in Digital Video Award

First: Samantha Stark for “How a Love Story Triumphed in Court,”


Excellence in Multimedia Award

First: German Lopez and Joe Posner for “Trans Lives,”


Excellence in Online Journalism Award

First: Shannon Keating, Lauren Morrell Tabak, Marcie Bianco, Sarah Fonseca and Lisa C. Moore for “Lesbian History Week,” Buzzfeed

Second: Eric Walter for “Speak Easy Forums: LGBT Priorities Beyond Marriage,”


Excellence in Social Media Award

First: The Advocate Staff for “Day in LGBT America,” The Advocate


Editorial awards:

Excellence in Column Writing

First: Maxwell Heller for “Columns of Miz Cracker,” Slate

Second: Heidi Stevens for “Balancing Act with Heidi Stevens,” Chicago Tribune


Excellence in Opinion/Editorial Writing Award

First: Neal Broverman for “I Met My Best Friend on Grindr,” The Advocate

Second: Mark S. King for “Surviving Life Itself,” POZ


Broadcast awards:

Excellence in Documentary Award:

First: Simon Kilmurry, Chris Hastings, Carmen L. Vicencio and PJ Raval for “America ReFramed: Before You Know It,” World Channel


Excellence in Local Television Award

First: Darren Perron for “Powerful Transformation,” WCAX-TV


Excellence in Network Television Award

First: DaxTejera, Eric Herbst, Lindsay Garfield, Alcione Gonzalez and Douglas Forte for

“America With Jorge Ramos: 101 Gay Weddings,” Fusion

Second: Jay Kernis for “Sunday Morning: In His Name,” CBS News


Excellence in Podcasts Award

First Place: Ken Schneck for “This Show is So Gay,” This Show is So Gay


Excellence in Radio Award

First: David Weinberg for “Grace of the Sea,” KCRW 89.9FM

Second: Jim Burress for “Fulton County Doesn’t Spend, Loses HIV Prevention Money,” WABE-FM and


Coverage awards:

Excellence in Bisexual Coverage Award

First: Colin Murphy for “Vincent Price’s Daughter Confirms Father’s Bisexuality,” #Boom Magazine


Excellence in Health or Fitness Coverage:

First: Mary Emily O’Hara for “The Transgender Healthcare Revolution is Here With Two New Startups,” The Daily Dot

Second: Benjamin Ryan for “When Can We Expect PrEP 2.0?,” POZ


Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award

First: Heather Boerner for “Ongoing HIV Prevention/Treatment Coverage,” The Daily Beast/

Second: Daniel Villarreal and Topher Williams for “‘Trust Him?’: Why Are The Images Debating PrEP Use So Consistently Shitty?”


Excellence in Transgender Coverage Award

First: Dylan Edwards for “Voices: How I Told My Grandma I’m Transgender,” Fusion

Second: SunnivieBrydum and Mitch Kellaway for “This Black Trans Man Is in Prison for Killing His Rapist,” The Advocate


The awards will be presented throughout the NLGJA National Convention & LGBT Media Summit September 8-11 in Miami, FL. For more information on the convention and the schedule of awards presentation, visit


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