Texas Managing Editors

Headliners Foundation announces the Charles E. Green Awards

Each year the Headliners Foundation presents the Charles E. Green Awards in six select categories to the best print and broadcast journalists in the state. The print awards are presented in partnership with the Texas Managing Editors, and the broadcast awards are presented in partnership with the Texas Association of Broadcasters.

The Green Awards are part of the Foundation’s robust journalism awards program, which also includes the Showcase Awards for Enterprise and Innovation in Journalism. Through these contests, the Foundation awards $33,000 annually to Texas’ best journalists.

The Green Award for STAR PHOTOJOURNALIST OF THE YEAR goes to Sam Owens from the San Antonio Express-News

The judge in this category remarked that “Sam Owens’ photographs bring us close. That’s what struck me as I looked at her portfolio of work from the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting. Her images stopped me with their intimacy. They drew me in and kept me there.” The judge also noted that “It’s not startling that her pictures evoke emotion, not with this subject matter. What’s notable is how Owens lures us to look close.”

The Green Award for STAR REPORTER OF THE YEAR goes to Tony Plohetski of the Austin American-Statesman.

“Some stories make a career,” wrote the judge in the Star Reporter of the Year category. “You get thrown into it and work harder than you ever thought you could, and you keep working. That’s what happened to Tony Plohetski with Uvalde. He rose to the challenge and produced scoop after scoop for the Statesman with gripping stories that provided not just the news, but important context and heart.”

The Green Award for STAR BREAKING NEWS REPORT OF THE YEAR goes to Eric E. Garcia, Christian Betancourt, and Shane Monaco from the Temple Daily Telegram for their coverage of the Bell County Tornado.

The judge in this category noted that “The sudden fury of shrieking winds that shred homes, cars and lives – right on deadline – is the epitome of breaking news. The Temple Daily Telegram responded just as quickly last April…In those first few hours following the Bell County tornado.” The judge goes on to say, “The writers, doubling as photographers, demonstrate strong local knowledge of geography and community history. They smartly navigate through the flow of official statements while pulling out the emotional quotes and personal stories of stunned and terrified residents.”

The Green Award for STAR OPINION WRITER OF THE YEAR goes to Carlos Rodriguez of the Brownsville Herald.

In an era of hyper-political, division, and miss information, the responsibility of analyzing complex issues, for the public has never been greater. The Brownsville Herald responded with a series of editorials that deconstructed our most pressing issues with thoughtful, well-written, and well-researched pieces that peeled back the layers of complexity on a broad range of issues. The Herald’s editorials were written simply and elegantly. In the sometimes bewildering chaos that is a hallmark of our Times, the Herald provided its readers with clearheaded, explanatory and opinion journalism that served its Rio Grande Valley readership extraordinarily well.

The Green Award for STAR INVESTIGATIVE REPORT OF THE YEAR goes to the team at the Texas Tribune for their story, “Operation Lone Star.”

The judge in this category remarked that, “The Texas Tribune again demonstrates the value of independent journalism with its effort to bring accountability to the governor’s ballyhooed campaign against illegal immigration. Reporters found that evidence to back up the governor’s well-oiled political polemic on immigrant crime was sparse, pulling in data on crimes unrelated to immigrants and arrests far from the border, and shifting the metrics when pressed. They showed how a new category of misdemeanor trespassing arrests of nonviolent border crossers became the principal evidence of the impact of the multi-million dollar effort.”

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