Advocate headquarters

JACKSON, Miss. — Journalists from The Advocate won 12 first-place awards and were runners-up in five other categories in the Associated Press Media Editors competition among news outlets in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The awards were presented Saturday evening at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson.

Coverage by John Simerman, Ramon Antonio Vargas and Matt Sledge on the release of a list of priests in the Archdiocese of New Orleans credibly accused of the sexual abuse of minors won the breaking news award, while Vargas' interview with a victim from Jesuit High in New Orleans was honored in the general news category.

The Advocate also won for its breaking sports coverage after LSU basketball player Wayde Sims was killed while trying to break up a fight in Baton Rouge.

Matthew Hinton won two photo categories, breaking news photo for coverage of a mass shooting, and for a portfolio of work.

Other winners were Max Becherer for general news photography for a photo of a grieving woman, Sophia Germer in feature photography for "Barkus Queen," Travis Spradling in sports feature photography and Scott Threlkeld in sports action photography.

Luke Johnson won in sports enterprise/feature story for "The Smile Hunters."

Jay Martin took the top honor in layout and design for a body of work, while Dan Swenson took second place in the category for his graphics on New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees setting an NFL passing record.

For his work on Louisiana's practice of letting nonunanimous juries send people to prison, Danny Heitman won the APME editorials category. Gordon Russell, Jeff Adelson and Simerman were runners-up in the investigative/public service reporting category for "Tilting the Scales," their stories in the practice.

Cassandra Brown took second place for a package of headlines. Other second-place awards were presented to Keith Spera for a profile of Blaine Kern, in features, and Germer in portrait/personality photography for "Femme Fatales."

The contest was judged by journalists at AP member newspapers outside Louisiana and Mississippi.


Winners in Newspaper Division III (more than 250,000 total weekly circulation):

Multimedia Package: 1, Richard Webster, Jonathan Bullington and Katherine Sayre, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "A Fragile State: Louisiana's Broken Mental Health Care"; 2, Jonathan Bullington, Richard Webster and Haley Correll, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "The Children of Central City: The Devastating Effects of Exposure to Violence on Children."

Video: 1, Aaron Fisher, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Preston's Gone"; 2, Frankie Prijatel, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Commander's Palace: Restaurant of the Year for 2018."

Features: 1, Katherine Sayre, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Fighting for Kevin: A Father Struggles to Keep his Son Alive in Louisiana's Mental Health Care System"; 2, Keith Spera, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Profile of Blaine Kern."

Breaking News Photography: 1, Mathew Hinton, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Mass Shooting"; 2, David Grunfeld, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Heartbreak in Treme Double Killing."

General News Photography: 1, Max Becherer, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Grieving Widow"; 2, David Grunfeld, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "D-Day Commemoration."

Feature Photography: 1, Sophie Germer, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Barkus Queen"; 2, Michael DeMocker, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Aretha Franklin Second-Line."

Multi-Photo: 1, Matthew Hinton, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate; 2, Brett Duke, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "An Army Vet in Crisis. A Family Calls for Help. What Happened Next, Shouldn't Have."

Portrait/Personality Photography: 1, Brett Duke, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "From Foster Care to Homeless Shelter to Prison"; 2, Sophie Germer, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Femme Fatales."

Sports Feature Photography: 1, Travis Spradling, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Celebration"; 2, Michael DeMocker, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Saints Fan Helps Giants Fan."

Sports Action Photography: 1, Scott Threlkeld, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "High Score"; 2, Brett Duke, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "LSU Tigers Quarterback Goes Down."

Breaking Sports: 1, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Wayde Sims"; 2, Jeff Duncan, Chris Dabe and Katherine Sayre, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "The Death of Saints Owner Tom Benson."

Sports Enterprise/Feature: 1, Luke Johnson, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "The Smile Hunters (asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) Amid Leukemia Diagnosis, BR Family Finds Light with Help from LSU's Smith"; 2, Wilson Alexander, (Jackson) Clarion Ledger, "Out of the Darkness: How Nathan Pickering Overcame Suicidal Thoughts, Substance Abuse."

Personal Columns: 1, Jarvis DeBerry, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune; 2, Haley Correll, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Raising a Toddler in New Orleans."

Editorials: 1, Danny Heitman, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "10-2 Juries"; 2, Terri Troncale, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Abusers Finally Will Have to Give Up Their Guns."

Headlines: 1, James Karst, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune; 2, Cassandra Brown, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.

Layout & Design: 1, Jay Martin, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate; 2, Dan Swenson, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Drew Brees Passing Record."

Business: 1, Brett Anderson, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Sexual Harassment Allegations Preceded Sucré Co-Founder Tariq Hanna's Departure"; 2, Tristan Baurick, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "An Airport in a Wildlife Refuge? State-Backed Plan Shocks Conservationists, Scientists."

Investigative/Public Service: 1, Jonathan Bullington, Katherine Sayre and Richard Webster, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Louisiana's Broken Mental Health Care and how it Impacts Families"; 2, Gordon Russell, Jeff Adelson and John Simerman, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Tilting the Scales."

Continuing Coverage: 1, Tristan Baurick, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "The Race to Save Louisiana's Coast"; 2, Kim Chatelain, Drew Broach and Manuel Torres, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "57 Clergy Members Credibly Accused of Abuse in New Orleans Area."

General News: 1, Ramon Vargas, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Jesuit High Sex Abuse Settlements Kept Quiet; 1 Victim Speaks Out for the First Time"; 2, Richard Webster and Katherine Sayre, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "Our Streets are our Mental Wards': New Orleans Homeless Deaths are Rising."

Breaking News: 1, John Simerman, Ramon Vargas and Matt Sledge, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, "Sins of the Fathers"; 2, Kim Chatelain, Drew Broach and Manuel Torres, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, "57 Clergy Members Credibly Accused of Abuse in New Orleans."