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Awards & Hall of Fame

Our community takes the time to recognize top leaders within our industry. For more than 50 years we’ve fostered and awarded journalistic excellence to distinguish outstanding individuals who uphold the highest standards of the press.

Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence

Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame is an annual event that recognizes journalists for their lifetime achievements, whose careers represent the highest standards of journalistic integrity and ethics. They have made outstanding contributions either to journalism in Georgia, the country and the world at large, often courageously overcoming many obstacles to pursue, find and share the truth. For more information about becoming a corporate or media sponsor for the Hall of Fame Ceremony, click here.

Click here to view our virtual 2020 Hall of Fame Induction ceremony!

Past Inductees

Awards of Excellence




The Atlanta Press Club would like to congratulate all our finalists and winners from our 2019 Awards of Excellence. Atlanta-area journalists were able to enter themselves or be nominated by someone else. Entries were judged by volunteers from the National Press Club and Investigative Reporters and Editors on quality of content, demonstrated reportorial skill and the impact of their work.


Niki Budnick, Danielle Banks, William Jauregui, The Weather Channel Digitial


Michelle Birnbaum, The Weather Channel

Documentary/Series -- TIED

Race To Save the Planet

Howard Sappington — Sr Executive Producer
Nora Zimmett — Sr Executive Producer
Mike Jenkins — Executive Producer

Field Producers
Trish Ragsdale
Michelle Birnbaum

Dave Malkoff

Brad Reynolds
Matt Saffer
Chris Erickson

Josh Vexler

Lead Editors
Rodney Higgins
Karl Keadle

Adam Gambrel
Brian Kucinski
Justin Toulon

Stephanie Abrams
Dr. Rick Knabb

John Spink, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Single Image Photo

A mortician arrives at the scene where a store clerk at a DeKalb County gas station was charged with murder after police said he shot a man inside the store Monday morning, Nov. 4, 2019. Amir Javed, the clerk of the Texaco station at the corner of Memorial Drive and Rays Road, called 911 to report the shooting about 1:45 a.m., according to DeKalb police. The man, who was shot once, was pronounced dead the scene. His name has not been released. He was unarmed, Channel 2 Action News reported. “It appears there was some type of dispute with the victim and the clerk, and it appears that the clerk shot him,” Lt. Rod Bryant told “It’s still under investigation at this time.” It is unknown if Javed and the victim knew each other. They were the only two people inside the convenience store when the shooting took place, Bryant said. Javed, 26, was booked into the DeKalb County Jail on a charge of malice murder, according to police.


A blaze at an abandoned church building shut down traffic and sent flames into the air Friday, September 20, 2019 near a southeast Atlanta high school. Firefighters worked much of the morning to put out hot spots at the former Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral on Clifton Street, which is across the street from Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High School. The fire was contained by 7:15 a.m., after the roof and much of the front of the building collapsed. The flames were too strong for firefighters to enter the building when they arrived just before 6 a.m., Atlanta fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford said. They had to cut through a locked gate to even access the property. The decision was made to get the blaze under control before they sent crews inside to search. There was evidence of people coming and going at the abandoned church, which was known to house the homeless over the past year it sat vacant, Stafford said. “We still took the chance to go inside this building after we got a knockdown on the fire and search every room and every crevice of this church to make sure no one was inside, due to the fact that we did have information that people may have lived in there,” he said. “Fortunately, no one was found inside.” One person was being treated for smoke inhalation. Stafford said the man may have been sleeping outside the church and breathed in too much smoke while he was trying to gather his belongings. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


DeKalb County police investigators are framed inside the window of the medical examiners truck where they investigated the death of a man found in his car at a gas station in Lithonia, Georgia. The body of a man in his 30’s was found at the BP Circle K station at 3860 Panola Road Wednesday morning, according to DeKalb Police Sgt. B Danner. The call came in just before 8 a.m. from his wife who traced her husbandÕs phone to the station where she found him unresponsive Danner said. There were no visible signs of trauma or any weapons found at the scene. Danner said that the medical examiner found the cause of death was blunt trauma to the head.


A standoff with an armed driver ended after negotiators and Marietta, Georgia S.W.A.T. officers surrounded the man’s vehicle and pulled him from the car onto the side of I-75 South in Cobb County on Friday, March 29, 2019. Officers with guns drawn had shut down all southbound lanes of I-75 in Cobb County where Marietta police were in a 2-hour standoff with an uncooperative driver who was armed near the I-285 interchange. The driver was suspected of being involved in an armed robbery at the Walmart at 210 Cobb Pkwy., Marietta police spokesman Officer Chuck McPhilamy said in a statement. “The vehicle and driver match the description of a suspect who committed an armed robbery in the city,” he said. “Within a short period of time Marietta Officers located the suspect vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop.” The driver did not immediately stop, but eventually pulled over to the side of the interstate between Windy Hill Road and I-285, McPhilamy said. He told 911 dispatchers he is not getting out of the car because he is afraid of being shot. Multiple agencies worked the scene, including the Georgia State Patrol and officers with the Cobb County and Marietta police departments. Taylor Alexander Smith-Duffy was ultimately charged with misdemeanor obstruction after refusing to get out of his car during the two-hour standoff, but police never charged him with armed robbery.


Atlanta Police S.W.A.T. officers talked a man down from the roof of a Midtown Atlanta home after more than nine hours of negotiations on Friday, March 15, 2019. The unidentified man had been on the roof of a home in the 300 block of 4th Street since 5:15 a.m. Friday, police said. Atlanta police are reopened multiple streets that were closed as a result of the hours-long negotiations. Resident Eric Johnson said the man climbed up to his neighbor’s roof after breaking into his duplex early Friday morning. “Around 5:15 a.m., the guy smashed out the back window in the kitchen and entered the house,” Johnson said. “He was in the living room, we think, when my little dog freaked out on the guy. I guess he got scared and dove out of the sunroom window and vaulted the fence.” A police spokesman said officers were called to the scene about the same time and found the man sitting on the roof. Johnson said the man startled his 19-year-old daughter, who saw him just as he made the 6-foot drop from the sunroom window to the courtyard below. “A great way to start a Friday,” he said.


Sanmarian McClain (center-left) is comforted in her grief after losing her daughter to gunfire Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. McClainÕs 18-year old daughter died after a stray bullet flew into her southwest Atlanta home and hit her as she slept. An exchange of gunfire erupted Thursday, in the street outside the home in the 2900 block of River Ridge Drive, according to Atlanta homicide commander Lt. Andrea Webster. Police arrived at the residence about 6 a.m. after McClain had reported her daughter had been shot and killed. When officers went inside the home, they found the victim with a gunshot wound to the chest, police said. Emergency medical officials confirmed she was dead. Investigators learned there was an exchange between at least two shooters that may have lasted several minutes, Webster said. During that time, three stray bullets came into the house, one of which hit and killed the sleeping teen, she said. “We can’t think of any reason she may have been the subject or the target,” Webster said. The 18-year-old, identified by relatives as Jessica Daniels, had just graduated from South Atlanta High School in May, her mother told police.
Sharon Avraham, Nicole Bonaccorso, Julie Dermansky, Clarissa Sosin, George Steinmetz, Alex Wroblewski, The Weather Channel Digital and individual collaborations with Food & Environment Reporting Network

Photo Essay

Tamar Hallerman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Rising Star Award -- TIED

Stephen Fowler, Georgia Public Broadcasting

The Rising Star Award -- TIED

Chandra Harper-Gallashaw, William King, Braddye Smith and Max Blau, Pittsburgh Journalism Project

News Innovation Award

Jim Galloway, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Impact Award