The AP, Fox News, Knight Ridder win journalism awards

Saturday, April 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Associated Press reporter Sandra Sobieraj has won a top Washington journalism award for an election-night story on Al Gore's retraction of his concession. Fox News Channel's Jim Angle and Knight Ridder's Steve Thomma also are being honored for their 2000 campaign coverage.

The awards are being presented April 28 at the 87th annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association, which will be attended by President Bush and his wife, Laura.

Sobieraj won the Merriman Smith Memorial Award in the print category for a behind-the-scenes account of then-Vice President Gore's retraction. Gore conceded the election after broadcast reports declared Bush the winner, but the Democratic candidate called Bush again to take it back after vote totals in Florida made it clear the election was too close to call.

Sobieraj's story featured details of the phone call, including the Gore quote, ``You don't have to get snippy about this.'' Judges said the story was in the ``best tradition'' of deadline reporting.

Angle won the broadcast award for his coverage of the ensuing recount of votes in Florida. Judges said Angle reported the rapid-fire development in a way that put ``breaking news into perspective.''

Steve Thomma of Knight Ridder received the group's Aldo Beckman Award for his stories during the campaign that bucked the notion that Gore couldn't win Florida.

Winning the organization's Edgar A. Poe award were Elizabeth Marchak, Dave Davis and Joan Mazzolini of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, for a series of stories on poor health care given minorities in the United States.

Honorable mentions went to AP reporter David Pace for a story showing Indians have benefited little from the casino business. John Barry and Evan Thomas of Newsweek also won a mention for a story on how U.S. bombing was ineffective in Kosovo.