Sun staff wins two first-place SPJ awards for I-75 wreck coverage

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 5:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 5:38 p.m.

The Gainesville Sun won two first-place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for breaking news and follow-up coverage of the deadly Interstate 75 accidents, beating out small daily newspapers in 11 Southeastern states.

The SPJ on Wednesday announced the 63rd annual Green Eyeshade Awards, which has recognized the best of journalism in the Southeast since 1950.

The awards were for deadline reporting of the Jan. 29, 2012, accidents that killed 11 people and non-deadline reporting for the follow-up coverage that explored the events and law enforcement response to the fog and smoke leading up to the crash.

The Sun won in categories for print publications with daily circulation of 60,000 or less.

“It's great to get this recognition from our colleagues across the Southeast for solid news coverage,” Executive Editor Doug Ray said. “At the end of the day, each day, the purpose is serving our community with good journalism. I think these awards validate that.”

Last month, The Sun received a national SPJ award for newspapers of 100,000 circulation or less for a full-page illustration about the accidents.

Staff photographers Doug Finger and Brad McClenny also won awards in that contest.

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