Additional finalists: David Bloom, Jeffery Gerritt, Eric Hartley, Lee Wolverton and Bridget Grumet


Five additional entries also were identified as finalists by the contest judges:

David Bloom, managing editor of The Baytown Sun in Texas, for editorials that sought to promote a dialogue about open government. Judges said this was a great example of a paper holding government accountable.  They liked the directness of how he addressed those he was calling out and the pointed recommendations that he offered for action.  They also liked that it was difficult to discern a political point of view; instead, his editorials came across as wanting to help the community. One judged noted that all editorial boards write about transparency in government, but this entry stood out to him as having a bit more "snap" to it than some.  It also was so well written that it didn't represent heavy lifting on the part of readers.

Read his entry:

Jeffery Gerritt, editor of the Sharon Herald in Pennsylvania, for editorials that urged the General Assembly and governor to abolish Pennsylvania's death-penalty statute. Judges said the editorials were captivating and did a really good job of outlining the issues.  They said the editorials were well written, well researched and offered bold editorial commentary on a controversial topic — and demonstrated why this national topic mattered at home.

Read his entry:

Eric Hartley, opinion editor of The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California, for editorials calling for the long-promised new campus in Palm Springs for the College of the Desert. Judges noted that these editorials addressed a complex matter, but in a way that it was immediately apparent what was going on.  One judge commented that this was a topic that is as hyperlocal as it gets — something that almost could be an investigative series, but was written from an editorial point of view regarding serious operational problems with an educational institution in an area that desperately needs it.  They liked that he addressed the financial issues involved, without coming across as angry or accusatory, but simply pointing out the impact to the community.

Read his entry:

Lee Wolverton, vice president of news and executive editor of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, for editorials that took on the governor of West Virginia. Judges said Wolverton is a terrific columnist, who offered beautiful lyrical writing.  One judge said he enjoyed Wolverton's columns for the pure joy of reading him.

Read his entry: view all four editorials at this link

  • All the governor's delusions
  • Secrecy, corruption at full boil
  • Why is the governor hiding?
  • Justice remains concealer-in-chief

Bridget Grumet, metro columnist for the Austin American-Statesman, for a second entry containing columns about the city's handling of homelessness. Judges said these columns had the strongest call to action of any of the entries. They said the complexity of the issue was well broken down and the reporting — within the context of opinion writing — was "top notch." One judge simply said: "She's amazing.  There's no surface to this whole thing.  She just digs in!"

Read her entry: