Press Club of Dallas Announces Hugh Aynesworth Awards Finalists

Irving Convention Center

The Press Club of Dallas has selected 27 finalists in 16 categories for the second annual Hugh Aynesworth Awards for Texas Journalism. The competition was open to reporters, columnists, editors, photographers and videographers from throughout the state of Texas for work done in calendar year 2017.

Entries came from journalists and their news organizations in Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Houston and smaller communities, such as Howe, a north Texas town with a population of about 2,600.

“We increased the number of categories this year, and we’re excited by the response,” Press Club President Paul Wahlstrom said. “The judges wrote some really complimentary comments about the finalists. Our judges are well-known journalists from the East Coast and have not been involved in Texas journalism. So their deliberations were based on what they read and saw, not who they knew.”

John McCaa

The awards dinner and ceremony will be held Dec. 1 at the Irving Convention Center. The event starts at 5 p.m. and is open to the public. The awards program will be hosted by John McCaa, longtime news anchor at WFAA TV. Tickets and other information are available through the Press Club Web site (

The competition is named for Hugh Aynesworth, an award-winning reporter and editor. His first-hand recounting of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy resulted in his best-selling book, November 22, 1963: Witness to History. A long-time Press Club member and past president, Aynesworth is the author of several investigative books and is a four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Hugh Aynesworth

Hugh Aynesworth Awards For Texas Journalism Finalists

Daily Newspapers – Feature Writing
Speaking up for Kara
Reporter, Naomi Martin, Dallas Morning News, March 26, 2017
What Kind of Father
Reporter, Frank l. Christlieb, Dallas Morning News, June 15, 2017

Daily Newspapers – Investigative Reporting
What happened to Tony Timpa?
Reporter, Cary Aspinall, Dallas Morning News, Apr. 20, 2017

Daily Newspapers – Sports Feature Reporting
The Faith He Carries
Reporter, Michael Florek, Dallas Morning News, Sept. 27, 2017

Weekly Newspapers – Feature Reporting
Two Howe Ladies Blessed to Survive Las Vegas Weekend
Reporter, Monte Walker, Howe Enterprise, Oct. 9, 2017

Broadcast Finalists

Television – Investigative Reporting
Pricey Perks
Lori Brown, Vicki Chen, KDFW Channel 4, April 10, 2017
Criminal Caretakers
Charlotte Huffman, Mark Smith WFAA Channel 8, Nov. 16, 2017

Television – Feature Reporting
Antique Collector Finds Soldier’s Letters, Including One from Truman
Reporter, Courtney Friedman KSAT TV 2, May 29, 2017
Love and Loss: Kenny Goss Remembers George Michael
Reporter, Brian Curtis, KXAS TV Channel 5, Feb. 27, 2017

Television – Spot News Reporting
Singing and praise. Then gunfire.
Couple shares story of surviving Texas church shooting
Reporter, Patty Santos, KSAT TV 2, Nov. 6, 2017

Radio – Spot News Reporting
In A Houston Emergency Room, It Was A Week Like No Other
Reporter, Rachel Osier Lyndley, KERA, Sept. 2, 2017
Vignettes from A Disaster: Galveston After Harvey
Reporter, David Brown, Texas Standard (Texas Public Radio), Aug. 31, 2017

Radio – Investigative Reporting
One Crisis Away/No Place to Go
Reporters, Courtney Collins and Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, KERA
April 27, 2017

High Levels of Lead in San Antonio Neighborhoods
The Texas Standard, Public Radio, San Antonio
Reporter, David Martin Davies, July 16- July 19, 2017:

Radio – Feature Reporting
Building Houston’s Super School
Reporter, Laura Isensee, Houston Public Media, Nov. 8, 2017
The Changing Face of Schools
Reporters, Bill Zeeble and Stella M. Chavez, KERA, March 8, 2017
The Effort to Bring Back Vinyl Records
Reporter, Hady Mawajdeh, Art and Seek, KERA, Fenb. 16, 2017

Radio – Criticism
Art & Seek, reviews and commentary,
Jerome Weeks, KERA, Aug. 16, Sep. 14 and Oct. 25, 2017

Magazine + Digital Finalists

Magazine – Feature reporting
The Day The Fire Came
Reporter, Skip Hollandsworth, Texas Monthly, July, 2017
The Leadership of Wilshire Baptist Church
Reporter, Keri Mitchell, The Advocate, Nov. 28, 2017

Magazine – Investigative reporting
Death From Above
Reporter, Christopher Collins, The Texas Observer , April 17, 2017

Digital – Investigative reporting
Lee Trull Accused of Misconduct
Reporters, Shelby Allison-Hibbs, Katy Lemieux, Mark Lowry, Theater Jones
Dec. 5, 2017

Digital – Editorial opinion
And Now the Hard Part of Righting Dallas’ Racial Wrongs Actually Begins
Bethany Erickson, education, consumer affairs, and public policy columnist, Candy’s Dirt, Oct. 1, 2017

Digital – Criticism
Outside the Lines – Water Tower Theater Hit the Wall
Mark Lowry, Aug. 8, 2017, Theater Jones

Public Service Finalists

Dallas Examiner
Monday Night Politics
Molly Belt, Publisher and Editor, Monday Night Politics, March 16, March 30, 2017 (and throughout the calendar year)
Dallas Morning News
Overlooked – As women go to jail in record numbers, who’s watching out for their kids? No one.
Cary Aspinwall, Women in Jail, June 27, 2017, Dec. 3, 2017

Candy’s Dirt
Dallas ISD’s Needs Won’t Disappear But You Can Help
Bethany Erickson, columnist, Aug. 23, 2017 – Dallas ISD’s Needs Won’t Disappear,