The Society of Professional Journalists [SPJ] serves as the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

Each year the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists joints with its sister chapters in sponsoring regional contests to honor excellence in journalism. This year, SPJ held its awards for the D.C. Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter on Tuesday, June 15. While the event would be held virtually, it counted as something to which all journalists looked forward.

The Washington, D.C. Chapter’s Dateline Awards recognizes print, online and broadcast journalists in the D.C. metropolitan area and parts of neighboring counties.

The contest divisions encompass: daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, television, radio, newsletters/trade publications and online publications Within each division, there are nearly 20 categories – from Breaking News and Sports to Blogs and Feature Photography.

Entries are judged by a sister chapter and our chapter in turn judges another, thus guaranteeing fair and impartial selections of finalists and winners.

As some of our readers may recall, The Washington Informer received five awards in 2020 for the stellar contributions of work published in 2019 by Samuel Collins, Stacy Brown, William J. Ford, Anthony Tilghman and D. Kevin McNeir.

This year, honors went to three of our staff members (with the specific awards listed below): Anthony Tilghman, Stacy Brown and D. Kevin McNeir.

Denise Rolark Barnes, WI publisher had this to say: “Congratulations to Anthony Tilghman, winner of the SPJDC Dateline Feature Photography Award, and to Stacy Brown and D. Kevin McNeir for being named among the finalists in the Best Series and Commentary & Criticism categories, respectively. Great work and a job well done!

Best Series

Winner: Avi Bajpai, Reginald Black, Julia Pinney, Street Sense Media, “How Covid-19 Affected DC’s Homeless Community”

Finalist: Stacy BrownThe Washington Informer, “One Hundred Years after Suffrage Victories, Black Women Still Carrying the Torch”

Stacy M. Brown

Stacy Brown: “It’s incredibly humbling to be recognized for the second consecutive year by SPJ. Certainly much credit goes to Denise Rolark Barnes, Kevin McNeir and the Informer editing team. The Informer raises the bar daily so I’m never surprised when this newspaper is recognized for excellence.”

Commentary & Criticism

Winner: Joey DiGuglielmo, Washington Blade, “Album roundup: Gaga Just So-So on New Album ‘Chromatica’”

Finalist: D. Kevin McNeir, The Washington Informer, “The Word According to Dominic”

Finalist: Andrew Dunbar, Alexandria Times, “Strokes, Bob Dylan, Gorillaz”

Finalist: Cody Mello-Klein, Alexandria Times, “Her Name was Jo”

D. Kevin McNeir

D. Kevin McNeir: “It’s an honor to be acknowledged for doing something that I ‘cannot not do’ – that is writing. I consider it a privilege to be included among other writers who continue to work hard at perfecting their craft. While I truly love writing news and feature stories, the art of commentary writing has recently become something with which I am intrigued. I recall sitting at the feet of Clarence Page over 20 years ago when I was just beginning as a journalist in Chicago and saying to myself, ‘one day I want to inspire thoughts among Americans that break the confines of conformity.’ I’m still working each day to consistently achieve that goal.”

Feature Photography

Winner: Anthony Tilghman (Twitter: @AnthonyTilghman), The Washington Informer, “The Washington National Cathedral’s Exhibit of Doves Symbolizing Hope for the Days and Year Ahead”

Anthony Tilghman

Anthony Tilghman: “It’s an honor to be a winner again; I’m humbled and honored. Thanks to the Washington, DC, Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for the recognition. I enjoy capturing moments and telling stories with my photos. I want to thank the writers and staff at The Informer for allowing me to have fun and be creative with my images. As Marc Anthony once said, ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’”

D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents in their struggles with Alzheimer’s,...

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