The reporting and commentary team at NC Policy Watch was recognized with seven separate awards last night at the annual North Carolina Press Association banquet. Topping the list was Environmental Reporter Lisa Sorg who was singled as the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Henry Lee Weathers Freedom of Information Award.
Sorg, who has been recognized on multiple occasions throughout her career for journalism excellence and who is one of the nation’s preeminent environmental reporters, was recognized for her “efforts and exceptional work in advancing and upholding the cause of Freedom of Information.” In a fashion that is typical of her commitment to excellence in reporting, Sorg missed last night’s award ceremony in order to report on a public hearing regarding the planned expansion of the I-540 tollway in southern Wake County. You can read the story that she filed early this morning on that issue by clicking here.
In addition to the Weathers award, Sorg also won recognition for stories she wrote on the GenX water pollution crisis and the controversial chemical manufacturer SePro, which sought to sell one of its products to the state to kill algae in Jordan Lake. The former won second place in news enterprise reporting and the latter garnered second place for investigative reporting. Both competed in the online publications category.
Other Policy Watch award winners last night:
- A second place for Courts, Law and Democracy Reporter Melissa Boughton in the general news reporting category for online publications for her in-depth look at state lawmakers’ attempt to shrink the state Court of Appeals,
- A third place for Investigative reporter Joe Killian in the investigative reporting category for online publications for his examination of the opioid crisis,
- A third place for New Media Director Nelle Dunlap in the appearance and design category for online publications for her work on the NC Policy Watch and Progressive Pulse websites, and
- A third place for Policy Watch founder and recently departed longtime director Chris Fitzsimon in the editorial category for online publications for his commentary on the North Carolina General Assembly.