LAFRANIERE WINNER OF $25,000 MICHAEL KELLY AWARD for 2006
David Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media Company, announced tonight that New York Times reporter Sharon LaFraniere is this year's recipient of the Michael Kelly Award. She won the award for her reporting from Southern Africa on the struggles faced by the women in the region.
The $25,000 award is given annually to a journalist whose work exemplifies a quality that animated Michael Kelly's own career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth. Kelly, who was the editor of two Atlantic Media publications, The Atlantic Monthly and National Journal, was killed while covering the war in Iraq in 2003.
According to a statement from the award judges, "[LaFraniere’s] reporting provides a window into African culture that is both unflinching and respectful, dispassionate and intimate. As LaFraniere's articles demonstrate, the "fearless pursuit and expression of truth" can manifest itself not only in reporting from a war zone or disaster area, but also in covering the most mundane circumstances of everyday life--the village without a doctor, the school without a toilet, and the widow without a choice."
In addition to LaFraniere, four journalists were recognized as finalists by the judges: Kurt Eichenwald, a reporter with The New York Times; James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, reporters with the New York Times; Chris Rose, columnist for the Times Picayune in New Orleans; and Cam Simpson, Foreign and National Correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. The finalists will each receive $3,000.
Atlantic Media received a total of 83 entries from reporters and editors at newspapers and magazines from across the country. The award is for work published in 2005.
A panel of five journalists served as judges for this year's award: Hanna Rosin, a staff writer for the Washington Post; Victoria Pope, a managing editor of National Geographic; Maximillian Potter, executive editor of 5280, the Denver city magazine; Cullen Murphy, senior editor of The Atlantic; and Charles Green, editor of National Journal.