Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press has been recognized with the wire service's Beat of the Week award for her efforts in securing the release of controversial photos of the fight between NASCAR drivers Carl Edwards and Kevin Havick at Lowe's Motor Speedway last week.
Initially, agencies whose staffers had taken the photos refused to release the images of the Thursday altercation, apparently worried about damaging their relationships with track officials, NASCAR teams and sponsors. As scores of reporters who cover NASCAR did, Fryer lobbied heavily for release of the photos.
Two days after the altercation in the garage area, the images were released to the AP and received wide distribution thrugh the Internet, television and newspapers. They showed the drivers' physical confrontation to be considerably more serious - and physical - than originally reported, with Edwards at one point grasping Harvick's throat.
Fryer's honor, along with a monetary award, came in a week when the AP also recognized its Brussels correspondent for an international soccer story, its reporter in Helsinki for the first TV interview with a Nobel Peace Prize and a Los Angeles-based staffer for breaking the story that a Japanese businessman charged with conspiring to murder his wife 27 years ago had committed suicide in his jail cell.
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