The Society of Professional Journalists – Georgia celebrated its first winners of the 2015 Larry Peterson Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Larry Peterson Award Workshop and Luncheon at the Savannah Morning News auditorium in Savannah, Georgia.
Savannah Morning News investigative journalist and environmental reporter Mary Landers won the award for her three-part investigative series on the proposed Palmetto Pipeline published on March 25, 2015. Landers has been with the newspaper for 18 years.
Five members of the 2015 Georgia News Lab won the student category for their investigative work published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution entitled, “Expense allowances for commissioner come with no strings attached,” in the paper’s June 27, 2015 edition. The article exposed the lack of accountability and oversight over expense allowances granted to county commissioners in three Atlanta’s largest counties. The winners include:
Taylor Carpenter, a senior at the University of Georgia, is majoring in journalism with dual emphasis in visual journalism and magazine writing. Carpenter has interned for the Bryan County News, Richmond Hill, Georgia.
Stephen Fowler, a communications major from Emory University, has held various journalism positions including the current executive digital editor position for the Emory Wheel. Fowler has also been the communications director for Health Connect South since April 2015.
Jane Hammond is a 2015 graduate of Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism, Macon, Georgia, and after graduation joined the Daily Press, Newport News, Virginia, as the education reporter. Hammond was an investigative intern for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ciara Frisbie, a senior broadcast journalism at Georgia State University, is news director for GSTV and continues as an investigative intern for WSB-TV Atlanta. Frisbie was also a student representative board member of the Society of Professional Journalist – Georgia in 2014.
Jared Loggins was the managing editor of the Maroon Tiger, Morehouse College’s student newspaper and was an intern with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Loggins is now a graduate student studying political science at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The afternoon luncheon and workshop also included panelists Ciara Frisbie; Stephany Fisher, investigative journalist formerly with CBS46; Don Logano, anchor and reporter with WTOC in Savannah; Mary Landers, reporter with the Savannah Morning News; and Jenel Few, education reporter with Savannah Morning News.
The afternoon also included keynote speakers Corey G. Johnson with The Marshall Project. His investigative series On Shaky Ground, a look into the safety of schools on California’s fault line, was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.
About Society of Professional Journalists
The Society of Professional Journalists is one of the oldest journalism organizations in the United States. It was founded in 1909 and supports journalists across the country. The Georgia chapter of SPJ, which represents members across the state, was officially established in 2014.
About the Larry Peterson Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism
This inaugural award is named after Savannah Morning News investigative journalist and political reporter Larry Peterson who died in 2014 from cancer. An endowment from the Peterson family subsidizes these annual awards for excellence in investigative journalism for one professional journalist and one student journalist.