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“We are thrilled to recognize the exceptional work of LGBTQ+ journalists through our Excellence in Journalism Awards,” said Adam Pawlus, Executive Director of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists.

Incorporated in 1991, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists is a journalist-led association working within the news media to advance fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ+ communities and issues. In September, NLGJA will host its National Convention in Philadelphia, bringing together more than 700 expected LGBTQ+ journalists, educators, communications professionals and students.

In advance of the convention, the association announced today its recipients for the 2023 Excellence in Journalism Awards. The awards recognize work that was produced between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022, and are decided by a diverse committee of journalism professionals.

National Board President Ken Miguel expressed his enthusiasm for this year’s award recipients, stating, “On behalf of the association, I offer my congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Excellence in Journalism Awards. Each recipient has demonstrated outstanding skill, integrity, and commitment to reporting stories that are essential for LGBTQ+ visibility and equality. Your dedication to highlighting diverse voices, uncovering important issues, and promoting understanding is an inspiration to us all.”

Why it matters

The awards program was started in 1993 to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBTQ+ community. Recipients will receive their awards publicly at the National Convention.

The winners

The 2023 NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards recipients are:

Special Recognition Awards

NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro, seen here at the College of DuPage in 2012, will be honored in Philadelphia this September as Journalist of the Year by the National Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists. Photography by James C. Svehla / COD Newsroom is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Journalist of the Year Award

Ari Shapiro

This category honors an LGBTQ+ journalist whose exceptional abilities, integrity and distinctive work brought honor to the profession within the past year. This award is not restricted to coverage of LGBTQ+ issues.

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBTQ+ Journalist of the Year Award

Victoria A. Brownworth

This is a body of work award recognizing the contributions of an individual journalist within an LGBTQ media publication.

The Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award

Nico Lang for “These States Had Few, If Any, Trans Student Athletes. They Passed Sports Bans Anyway.”, Huffington Post

The Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism is presented to the person or team who best uses innovative approaches for investigative reporting.

Print/Online Awards

Excellence in Book Writing Award

Casey Parks for Diary of a Misfit, Penguin Random House

Excellence in Feature Writing Award

Sam Manzella for “The Stonewall Generation fought for equality. Now they are fighting for their lives.”, LGBTQ Nation

Excellence in Feature Writing, Non-Daily Award 

Emma Madgic for “Rediscovering a Forgotten Provincetown Artist”, Provincetown Independent 

Excellence in Long Form Journalism Award

Ernest Owens for “Jussie Smollett Wanted to Be a Hero. Instead, He Destroyed His Career”, Rolling Stone

Excellence in Newswriting Award

Elizabeth Harris and Alexandra Alter for their series on book bans across the United States, The New York Times

Book Banning in the United States: Targeting LGBTQ Themes and Communities

With Rising Book Bans, Librarians Have Come Under Attack

Book Ban Efforts Spread Across the U.S.

How a Debut Graphic Memoir Became the Most Banned Book in the Country

Excellence in Newswriting, Non-Daily Award 

Bennet Goldstein for “Queering the family farm: Despite obstacles, LGBTQ farmers find fertile ground in Midwest”, Wisconsin Watch

Excellence in Photojournalism Award 

Nabil Harb and Ashley Dye for “I’m Trying to Focus on the Joy”, The Cut

Excellence in Profile Writing Award

Francisco Vara-Orta for “First gay mayor in U.S. didn’t expect to be LGBTQ rights icon”. Los Angeles Times

Excellence in Sports Writing Award 

Nico Lang for “These States Had Few, If Any, Trans Student Athletes. They Passed Sports Bans Anyway.”, Huffington Post

Excellence in Student Journalism Award 

Alan Halaly for “Ben Sasse’s anti-LGBTQ past recalls deep-rooted history of campus prejudice”, The Independent Florida Alligator

Excellence in Travel Writing Award 

Jim Gladstone for “A Postcard From Berlin”, Passport Magazine

Digital Awards

Excellence in Blogging Award 

Andy Dehnart for “Drag Race’s talent has never been better. The producing has never been worse.”, Reality Blurred

Excellence in Digital Video Award

Imaeyen Ibanga for “I’m A Pregnant Man In An Anti-LGBTQ+ State”, AJ+

Excellence in Multimedia Award 

T.M. Brown, Michael Beswetherick, Phaedra Brown, Gabriel Gianordoli,

Susan C. Beachy and Tony Cenicola for “Hidden in a Fire Island House, the Soundtrack of Love and Loss”, The New York Times

Excellence in Online Journalism Award 

The Insider team for their series on the murders of trans people across the United States

Deaths in the Family

“Love us in private and kill us in public’: How transphobia turns young men into killers”

They called 911 for assistance. Then police used lethal force.

The unsolved murders of Eastern Avenue

A gender nonconforming teen was killed at a party in small town Alabama. Why haven’t police solved the case?

Editorial Awards

Excellence in Column Writing Award 

LZ Granderson for his work at the LA Times

Excellence in Opinion/Editorial Writing Award 

Bryn Nelson for “How Stochastic Terrorism Uses Disgust to Incite Violence”, Scientific American

Broadcast Awards

Excellence in Documentary Award 

Alex Liu, Leonardo Neri and Steven Flynn for “A Sexplanation”, Herra Productions

Excellence in Local Television Award 

PJ Randhawa, Eric Desrosiers, Roberta Romero and Michael Botsford for “Transgender Hate & Hope”, King 5 News

Excellence in Network Television Award 

Soul of a Nation Presents for “PRIDE: To Be Seen”, ABC News

Excellence in Podcasts Award 

Victoria Dominguez Peek, Elena Schwartz, Jared Downing, Colton Salaz, Madeline Ducharme, Anna Phillips and Mary Harris for “What Texas’ Attacks on Trans Health Care Did to One Family”, Slate’s What Next

Excellence in Radio Award 

Hayley Sanchez and Kevin Beaty for “For the Colorado Springs LGBTQ community, the Club Q shooting has dredged up memories of the area’s bigoted past — and the huge progress made (and yet to make)”, Colorado Public Radio

Coverage Awards

Excellence in Bisexual Coverage Award

Clare Mulroy for “To disclose or not to disclose: Inside the push for bisexual-affirming medical care”, USA Today

Excellence in Business Coverage Award 

Ben Steverman for “New York Gay Bars Are Declining—and Covid Isn’t All to Blame”, Bloomberg

Excellence in Critique Writing Award 

Naveen Kumar for “Fire Island Is a Love Story About Queer Alienation”, Them

Excellence in Education Coverage Award 

ABC News Live for “Acceptance High”, ABC News Live

Excellence in Food Coverage Award 

H Conley for “I Realized I Was Trans While Making Cheese”, Bon Appétit

Excellence in Health or Fitness Coverage Award 

Dan Diamond, Fenit Nirappil and Lena H Sun for “Inside America’s monkeypox crisis — and the mistakes that made it worse”, The Washington Post 

Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award

Jordan Gonsalves for “A Positive HIV Test Shattered His Dreams of Serving in the U.S. Army. Now He’s Suing”, Time Magazine

Excellence in International Coverage Award 

Valerie Hopkins and Valeriya Safronova for “‘I’m Afraid for My Future’: Proposed Laws Threaten Gay Life in Russia”, The New York Times

Excellence in Legal Coverage Award 

Nico Lang for “Alabama Is Trying to Raise the Legal Driving Age for Trans People to 19”, The Daily Beast

Excellence in Political Coverage Award 

Matt Lavietes for his coverage of the political firestorm in Florida brought on by the passage of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, NBC News

“‘Groomer,’ ‘pro-pedophile’: Old tropes find new life in anti-LGBTQ movement

Here’s what Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill would do and what it wouldn’t do

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill limiting LGBTQ classroom instruction

I cannot teach in Florida’: LGBTQ educators fear fallout from new school law

Excellence in QPOC Coverage Award 

Maggie Sivit and Ari Mejia for “Traveling parties are part of a queer Chicago culture of partying as resistance”, WBEZ Chicago and Vocalo Radio

Excellence in Religion Coverage Award 

ABC News Studios for “Mormon No More”, ABC News

Excellence in Theatre Coverage Award 

Tim Teeman for “Inside Beanie Feldstein and Lea Michele’s ‘Funny Girl’ Broadway Meltdown”, The Daily Beast

Excellence in Transgender Coverage Award 

Wren Sanders and the Them team for their Trans Futures Week series, Them

Excellence in Nonbinary and Gender Nonconforming Coverage Award 

Minami Funakoshi for “Gender & Language”, Reuters

To learn more about NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, or to become a member, visit https://www.nlgja.org.

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