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Five Roll Call Reporters Win Awards From SPJ

Roll Call won five prizes in the annual Dateline Awards competition for excellence in local journalism, sponsored by Society of Professional Journalists’ Washington, D.C. Professional Chapter. Winners were announced at a ceremony Tuesday night at the National Press Club.

Four of the awards came in the weekly newspaper division; the fifth was for online reporting.

Staff Writer Emily Pierce took home top honors in the Editorial category for her column, Roadmap. The feature, which runs every Tuesday, analyzes the Congressional schedule for the coming week.

Roll Call won two awards for investigative reporting. Senior Staff Writer Paul Kane captured second place for his series of articles examining political charities. Earlier this year, he was awarded the National Press Foundation’s 2004 Everett McKinley Dirksen Awards for Distinguished Coverage of Congress for the same series.

And Amy Keller, a former senior staff writer who recently left Roll Call to join Florida Trend magazine, won honorable mention for her series about lawmakers’ family members on Congressional payrolls.

Editorial Assistant John McArdle won honorable mention in the General News category for his article, “Seeking a Shot in the Arm,” which looked at the lobbying industry’s involvement in the battle among the producers of bioweapon vaccines to fill the nation’s stockpile created after the 2001 anthrax attacks.

And Staff Writer Jennifer Yachnin won Roll Call’s first-ever award for online reporting by taking second place for her series of Web-only articles about the discovery of the toxin ricin on Capitol Hill.

In addition, Staff Writer Kate Ackley, who joined Roll Call earlier this year, won third place (along with Andy Metzger) for her Legal Times story, “In Plan Sight,” examining the law firm Greenberg Traurig’s responsibility for Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist currently under investigation. In addition, Ackley, as part of the Influence staff, shared third-place honors for “Abramoff, Inc.,” a more detailed look at Abramoff’s operation.

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