The big win: Detroitblogger John took the journalist of the year award. Detroitblogger -- real name John Carlisle, and an editor for the C&G Newspapers for his day job -- impressed the judging committee with "stories ... that no one else bothers to find, and his perceptive and gritty story-telling as well as his writing and photographic ability.
"With his blog, we gorged on several spicy slices of Detroit life that he served up, enjoying each and every paragraph. Detroiters need to know that there is hope and the should stop looking for it from the mayor or city council and look around their own neighborhoods. The reporting that Carlisle does showcases the real Detroit."
The other finalists in that category were MT news editor Curt Guyette, Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley and Michigan Radio environmental reporter Rebecca Williams.
MT's arts and culture editor Travis R. Wright was a finalist in the Young Journalist of the Year Award, along with Tim Devaney, formerly of The Detroit News. The award went to Detroit Free Press reporter Gina Darmon.
MT swept both the Class A criticism and feature photography categories. In criticism, film writer Jeff Meyers took first place, followed by former music editor Bill Holdship (for reviews of books by Patti Smith and others). Third place went to "Detroit's Greatest Hits That Should Have Been" by Brian Smith, W. Kim Heron and Metro Times staff. In feature photography, Detroitblogger John took first and second place, and MT freelancer Joe Gall took third place.
In other categories, former design director Sean Bieri and photographer Cybelle Codish took first place in feature page design for the cover of the 2010 Lust Issue, while Guyette took a second place award in single editorials for "End the War," an "eloquent and persuasive essay-style editorial" -- as the judges described it -- calling for the legalization of drugs. Second place for a website went to MT web editor Casey O'Neil and MT staff for metrotimes.com.
Meanwhile, Mike Martinez, former MT editorial intern, and the author of this week's story on the 1961 Tigers, won the $2,500 Laurain Scholarship awarded by the SPJ chapter each year to a journalism student in southeast Michigan. Martinez is a student at the University of Detroit Mercy.
Lifetime achievement awards went to Charles Eisendrath, who diirects the Knight-Wallace Fellows and the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists programs at the University of Michigan; Maynard “Mac” Gordon, a veteran automotive journalist; and Robert Sklar, a longtime editor for the O&E papers and the Detroit Jewish News.
For a full accounting of the awards and judges' comments, see the SPJ Detroit website.