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Winning words

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Metro Times just brought home two awards in a contest put on by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, a trade organization created many years ago by rags like the one being held this very moment in your grimy paws. Not to go bruising our back with self-congratulatory slaps, but bringing home a trophy from the annual convention is considered quite an honor.

Especially gratifying is the first-place award in the long-form news category. Competing against reporters from the largest alt papers in the country, Ann Mullen, now an investigative producer for Detroit television station WXYZ, took top honors for her story “Confessions and recantations.” In that piece, Mullen provided compelling evidence that a teenager was wrongly sent to prison on second-degree murder charges because of a false-confession Detroit police coerced from the 13-year-old boy. Subsequent to Mullen’s article, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the conviction, and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office decided not to seek a new trial.

That sort of validation means more than any award, but we’ll gladly keep the trophy (a little cheerleader waving pom-pons) just the same.

We also want to send a few well-deserved kudos to former MT arts editor Lisa M. Collins, who earned an honorable mention in the education reporting category for her feature story “School of life,” which chronicled the experiences of teenage mothers attending Detroit’s Catherine Ferguson Academy. Collins, who left MT to pursue a freelance career, provided a deeply touching account of an alternative school that is achieving astounding success, and cast a compassionate eye on the girls who are succeeding despite the difficulties they face.

Both Mullen and Collins produced much fine work during their years at the Metro Times, and we’re pleased that they were able to go out with such an impressive bang.

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