FlaglerLive won the Florida Press Club’s top award as Florida’s best online independent news site in all divisions. FlaglerLive also won first place in education reporting among all online sites and newspapers with a circulation of up to 40,000.
FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam took second place in commentary (the top award went to The Bradenton Journal‘s Marc Masferrer), and FlaglerLive earned an honorable mention in the Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting, also among all online sites and newspapers with a circulation of up to 40,000.
The awards were announced Saturday evening at the Florida Press Club’s annual banquet in Daytona Beach, where the keynote speaker was Mark Lane, the Daytona Beach News-Journal’s veteran columnist and humorist.
For best online news sites, the award recognizes general-excellence, with sites judged “on overall content and design, local emphasis, interactivity and ease of navigation.” A separate award went to sites affiliated with a print newspaper. In that category, the staff of the Bradenton Herald won the state’s top honor.
“The awards bestowed on FlaglerLive by the Florida Press Club,” Steve Robinson, a FlaglerLive board member, said, “are a welcome reminder of the importance of diligent, fact-based reporting and commentary on local issues and on the actions of elected officials who make decisions affecting us all.”
The FlaglerLive articles that won the education award reflected the weaponization of the Flagler County School Board by pressure groups such as the “moms for liberty” on one hand and complicitly disruptive school board members on the other, some of whom militated for book bans. The articles were written by Tristam.
The three essays that earned the commentary award focused on the criminal justice system–the progressive unpredictability of all-white juries in Flagler, the barbaric but enduring habit of corporal punishment, and an instance of “Grace from the Crime of Punishment.” Tristam last year won two third-place awards–for commentary, and for arts criticism–from Florida’s Society of Professional Journalists. (Commentary falls on the opinion side of journalism.)
For nearly 70 years, the Florida Press Club has been honoring the best in Florida journalism from layout to photography to writing. It was originally called the Florida Women’s Press Club, as no other clubs allowed women to compete when it was started. Honorees have expanded to include men and digital-only publications.
The work honored Saturday was published between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021.
The Sun Sentinel’s series “Crying out for Help,” earned the Club’s Frances DeVore Award for Community that comes with a $1,000 prize. The series chronicled how the paper discovered that thousands of calls to Broward County’s emergency dispatch went unanswered, sometimes with devastating results. Public concern about the situation led to raises of up to $29,000 a year for some dispatchers, according to the paper.
The winner of the Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting went to the Florida Times-Union for its coverage of federal indictments in the attempted sale of Jacksonville’s public utility. The paper detailed how the utility’s executives pressured the board into seeking offers so that those same executives could profit from the sale.
FlaglerLive is an independent, non-profit news site established in 2010, with a readership of between 20,000 and 25,000 a day during non-emergencies. (The site has competed in journalistic contests on only three occasions over the years, and placed each time.) The site is supported by a combination of advertising and readers’ direct, tax-deductible contributions.