Advocate's Gordon Russell, Walt Handelsman win national awards fom Society of Professional Journalists for Ray Nagin coverage, cartoons _lowres


The Advocate on Friday won two national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Walt Handelsman was named as the top cartoonist and Gordon Russell was honored for deadline reporting for his coverage of the guilty verdict in the trial of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Both awards were in the division for newspapers with circulation between 50,000 and 100,000.

The Society, founded in 1909, has been giving awards for distinguished journalism since 1932.

Handelsman, who has won two Pulitzer Prizes in editorial cartooning, was honored for a collection of five cartoons. He joined The Advocate in 2013 from Newsday in New York, and had worked for The Times-Picayune from 1989 to 2001.

(Click here to see the cartoons that won.)

Russell was honored for his coverage of the Feb 12 conviction of Nagin on 20 of 21 corruption charges. Russell, The Advocate’s managing editor for investigations, joined the newspaper in 2013 from The Times-Picayune.

(Click here to see the stories that won.)

The awards will be presented at the group’s annual banquet in Washington in June.