Monday, October 08, 2007

Winning is good!

If you're a travel journalist, the coveted honor is a medal in the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. More than 1,400 submissions are entered from publications including Outside Magazine, Travel + Leisure, The New York Times.

So we're thrilled that we brought home two great awards.

Leonard Pitts Jr., who is one of the world's great writers and even better person, won the gold medal for personal commentary for a moving story called Return to Africa.

A few years ago, Leonard wrote a column about a service called African Ancestry that allows people with African pasts to learn via a DNA test the tribes from which they hail. The column led to our sending Leonard to Africa to find his origins. The resulting stories also won awards. But that wasn't enough for Leonard, who was haunted by the poverty and bravery of the people he met.

So last year, he returned to Africa to find one woman he had interviewed in a shanty town in Sierra Leone. His mission: Send her oldest child to college. The story details his search for her and both the delight and amazement of her family when he went with them to sign up her daughter at the local university.

Stephanie Rosenblatt and I won a silver medal for a blog-print-video-webvote project that you can see by clicking on the icon at the upper left, Where's Jane Today? For 28 days, I drove from Miami to Seattle.

Though I was alone in my car, I had Steph with me all the way. Each day, readers like you voted to tell me where to go next; Steph sent me the votes, then plotted the locations on the map and uploaded the video I'd shot along the way. I blogged the trip each day, letting readers meet the people I found and check out the scenery.

Last year our take was even better. In 2006, I was named Travel Journalist of the Year, our print Travel section won best in its category and I won another writing award.

I hand over my tiara to Tom Haines of the Boston Globe, this year's Journalist of the Year. He's terrific.

To see the other winners, check out the website of the SATW Foundation.


Brent said...

Congratulations! I thought that was such a witty project.

Jane said...

Brent: Many thanks. I'm open to ideas for the next one....

mctrav3 said...

Congrats Jane! I love your blog and you are an inspiration.:)