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Environmental Writers Win National Press Award

Tue., June 20, 1995

The Spokesman-Review’s work last year in environmental reporting and column writing has earned more national journalism awards.

Staff writers Karen Dorn Steele and Jim Lynch earned the Robert L. Kozik Award for Environmental Reporting from the National Press Club.

Jim Kershner was a second-place finisher in the general interest category of the annual competition sponsored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Doug Clark received an honorable mention in the humor column category.

Lynch and Steele were cited for “Wasteland,” a series honored in several regional and national contests for unveiling waste and mismanagement at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

“Despite numerous bureaucratic roadblocks put up by both the government and the private contractors running Hanford, Steele and Lynch uncovered a disturbing pattern of massive waste at the reservation,” the judges wrote.

“The upshot: After five years and $7.5 billion in public funds, hardly anything has been cleaned up,” they continued. “Instead, the money has gone to bureaucrats and lawyers, while those who try to expose the waste get crushed by their superiors.”

The $1,000 prize honors outdoorsman and conservationist Robert L. Kozik, who died in 1989 at age 35.

Other National Press Club winners were U.S. News & World Report, Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Securities Week, Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union/ Hearst Newspapers, Defense Week and Los Angeles Times.

Kershner, who has won six previous National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ awards, was cited for columns on his wife’s battle with cancer, rites of passage and how outrageousness is fashionable while thoughtfulness is harder and more worthwhile.

Kershner was competing against 64 other entries in the top level of the general interest category, which represents newspapers carrying the highest circulation.

Kathy Barberich of the Fresno (Calif.) Bee won first place for general interest columns.

Washington Post columnist William Raspberry, winner of a 1994 Pulitzer Prize, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Boasting a membership of 300, the NSNC has been holding writing competitions since 1984. Some 277 entries were received from 196 columnists this year.

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