Charleston Gazette staff writers won two first-place honors in this year’s Green Eyeshade Awards, a contest that recognizes the best newspaper reporting and writing in the southeastern United States.
The Society of Professional Journalists granted Green Eyeshade Awards to Gazette staff writers Douglas Imbrogno, Eric Eyre and David Gutman.
Imbrogno received first prize in feature writing for his three-part series, “Elizabeth and George.” The stories told the tale of a street person known as Elizabeth who took up residence on the downtown streets of Charleston, but who harbored a former life as an aspiring young male musician whose music was once touted in the pages of Rolling Stone. The series tracked the estrangement in George’s family life as he came out as a woman, his disappearance from his Arkansas family for 27 years and the eventual reunion between Elizabeth and her sisters and mother through the help of benefactors in Charleston.
Eyre and Gutman were honored with a first-place Green Eyeshade Award for their investigation into the costs and causes of West Virginia’s methamphetamine lab problem. Earlier this year, their series, “The Meth Menace,” received a National Headliner Award, and was a finalist of an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award.
Last week, Eyre and Gutman also were named finalists for the Gerald Loeb Awards for outstanding business writing. Loeb Award winners will be announced in June at a banquet in New York.
Gazette staff writer Rachel Molenda, executive editor Robert J. Byers and former design editor Victoria Zigadlo also contributed to “The Meth Menace” series.
Eyre, a native of Broad Axe, Pennsylvania, joined the Gazette in 1998. He works as the newspaper’s statehouse reporter.
Gutman, who grew up in Burlington, Vermont, works as a general assignment reporter and weekend editor at the Gazette.
Imbrogno is a feature writer and video producer for the newspaper. Prior to that, he edited and launched West Virginia’s first online arts and entertainment magazine, thegazz.com, after having served as the Gazette’s feature editor for 15 years.
The Green Eyeshade Awards, the nation’s oldest regional journalism competition, are open to newspapers in 11 states: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina and West Virginia.