Three Modesto Bee reporters recently won regional and national awards.
Local news reporter Michael Shea was honored in Washington, D.C., by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition for "Sheltered in Shadows," a special report on homelessness. The series, which ran early last year, focused on the plight of homeless people in Turlock.
Sports reporter Will DeBoard is being honored by the Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California chapter with its James Madison Award for freedom of information efforts. DeBoard was singled out for his work in uncovering the details of a football recruiting scandal at Stockton's Franklin High School.
DeBoard and fellow sportswriter Richard T. Estrada have been named Top 10 winners for project reporting by The Associated Press Sports Editors. They are being honored for their multipart "Summer Strategy" series about how many of the region's top high school athletes sharpen their skills in the off-season.
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In addition to the recognition of Modesto's staff, other journalists from McClatchy Newspapers, The Bee's parent company, also have been honored recently.
Marisa Taylor, Margaret Talev and Greg Gordon of the McClatchy Washington Bureau received the Raymond Clapper award from the Scripps Howard Foundation for Washington reporting for their groundbreaking coverage last year of the firings of nine U.S. attorneys by the Bush administration.
Their stories led to congressional investigations and to the resignations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and 11 others at the Justice Department and the White House.
The foundation also recognized journalists from the Anchorage Daily News and The Kansas City Star, two other papers that McClatchy owns.
Julia O'Malley of Anchorage won the Ernie Pyle award for "finding untold stories in often-overlooked places -- living rooms, courtrooms and homeless shelters, a Buddhist temple and a university's computer lab."
Jason Whitlock of The Star won for commentary "for his ability to seamlessly integrate sports commentary with social commentary and to challenge widely held assumptions along the racial divide."