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Phoenix wins six awards in latest RIPA competition

Phoenix frequent contributors Brian C. Jones and Steven Stycos scored hat tricks in the Rhode Island Press Association’s 2002 journalism competition, as the paper won six awards, including first-place honors for best news story and best business feature.

Stycos won the first place business feature for "Managed growth," published July 26, 2002, which described how Rhode Island’s top health-care execs — whose compensation has soared in recent years — are among the prime beneficiaries of the hospital consolidation trend of the ’90s. The New York State Press Association, which did the judging for the RIPA contest, called the story, "A real stunning breakdown of what ails the health care industry — corporate greed." Jones claimed the top slot in news for "One woman's fight," published July 25, 2002, about how, despite progress, many victims of domestic violence still have to endure harrowing abuse as they struggle to survive.

In the investigative/analytical category, Stycos won a second-place prize for "Forgotten men," published August 8, 2002, about how the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s growing practice of mandatory detention violates due process, and how critics say the worst conditions for New England detainees are at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston. The judges pronounced it, "The kind of story every newspaper should be digging for." Jones won an honorable mention in the same category for "Justice delayed," published April 5, 2002, about how a fatal November 2001 car accident sparked allegations that immigrant labor is being exploited in Rhode Island's fish-processing industry, and how the only ones who had paid a price were the workers who spoke out.

Stycos scored a honorable mention in the news story category for "Good money after bad," published February 22, 2002, about how, with his role in the state credit union crisis, Antonio Giordano didn't seem like a good bet for public money. This did nothing to stop the US Department of Housing and Urban Development from extending a $15 million loan upon which Giordano subsequently defaulted. Jones, meanwhile, claimed a honorable mention in business feature for "Taxing matters," published January 25, 2002, about how the poor and middle class have more reason to complain when it comes to the impact of state taxes in Rhode Island.

Awards were presented during RIPA’s annual banquet, held Friday, May 16 at the Hotel Viking in Newport. Governor Donald L. Carcieri was the guest speaker.

Issue Date: May 23 - 29, 2003
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