Denver Post Sweeps Newspaper Category in 51st Annual Silver Gavel Awards

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The Denver Post swept the newspaper category in the ABA’s Silver Gavel Awards for the Media and the Arts this year, earning both top honors for its series “Lawless Lands: The Crisis in Indian Country” and an honorable mention for “Trashing the Truth: The Hidden Story of Lost DNA.”

Editor Gregory Moore commended his staff, and said Michael Riley’s four-part “Lawless Lands” revealed “serious flaws in the federal judicial system’s handling of crimes on reservations and put a human face on the suffering inflicted by the system,” the Denver Post reported.

The Dallas Morning News earned an honorable mention in the commentary category for its editorials on the death penalty.

Three other Silver Gavels were awarded.

In the documentary category, WNET, Channel 13, in New York won a Silver Gavel for its program The Supreme Court.

The nation’s highest court was a winning topic as well for author Jeffrey Toobin, who won for his book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.

Among television programs, WGBH Boston won a Silver Gavel for Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.

In the magazine category, the Nation won an honorable mention for its cover story “Thanks for Nothing: How Specialist Town Won a Purple Heart and Lost His Benefits.” It discusses the case of a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq War who was wounded in combat but denied disability and medical benefits because, like a number of others in similar situations, he was discharged because of an alleged “personality disorder.”

For a full list of those who received honorable mentions this year, see the ABA Silver Gavel Awards list.

The Silver Gavels will be presented by ABA President William H. Neukom at a National Press Club event in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Aug. 5, according to an announcement (PDF).

The purpose of the awards is to recognize exemplary efforts to help “foster the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system,” explains an ABA web page about the awards.

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