The Seattle Times and Glen Mabie are winners of the 2009 Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism. Read more and listen to podcasts with this year’s winners.
wins the News Organization award for its reporting on the University of Washington’s football program in a four-part series, The series, written by Times staff reporters Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry, revealed a network of lawmakers, university administrators and athletic boosters who protected more than two dozen UW football players who had been arrested while in college, some for violent felonies.
The Payne Awards Judges recognized the paper’s willingness to devote rich resources to tackling a story “it easily could have ignored or reported very matter-of-factly.” “Taking on football at the University of Washington is taking on an institution. The Times’ willingness to spend money to do so, while risking the ire of the community— as well as to expose its own previous failings in covering the story—is commendable.”
, former news director for WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is the winner in the individual category. Mabie, a twenty-four year veteran of television news, had been news director at the station for one year when he resigned in protest over an exclusive coverage deal with a local hospital. In the wake of his resignation, the station abandoned the plan.
“Glen Mabie took a stand for a basic principle of journalism,” the judges’ statement reads. “In an environment where the definition of ‘what is journalism’ is exploding, he was willing to risk his own economic security to uphold that basic principle.”
There was no collegiate media winner chosen this year.
“As the national media—and the citizenry—hunker down in economic survival mode, individual journalists and news organizations remain willing to take risks to uphold the integrity of the news,” says Tim Gleason, Edwin L. Artzt Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication and chair of the Payne Awards judging panel. “The winners of the 2009 Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism are fine examples of that.”
2009 marks the tenth anniversary of the Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism, which recognize journalists “who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to ethical conduct, even when faced with economic, personal or political pressure.” Ancil Payne, a legend in Seattle broadcasting, established the Payne Awards at the School of Journalism and Communication in 1999 to reward performance that inspires public trust in the media. Payne, who died in October 2004, was former CEO of KING Broadcasting; under his leadership, the company developed a national reputation for its commitment to ethical journalism.
Judges for the 2009 Payne Awards were Professor Tom Bivins, John L. Hulteng Chair of Media Ethics, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication; Peter Bhatia, Executive Editor, The Oregonian; Joann Byrd, retired Editorial Page Editor, Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Everette Dennis, Professor/Area Chair for Communications and Media Management and Director for the Center for Communications at Fordham (New York) University’s Graduate School of Business; Emily Harris, host of “Think out Loud,” Oregon Public Broadcasting; and Tim Gleason, Edwin L. Artzt Dean and Professor, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.
The tenth annual Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism will be presented in a special lunchtime ceremony at the school’s annual Hulteng Conversations in Ethics conference on Friday, May 15 at the school’s George S. Turnbull Center at UO Portland. A panel discussion among the winners will follow the awards ceremony. Brooke Gladstone, co-host and managing editor, NPR’s “On the Media” will deliver the Hulteng Conversations keynote address at 9:00 a.m. The events are free and open to the public. More information about the Payne Awards, including a list of past winners, is available at