A months-extended American-Statesman investigation into the demise of Javier Ambler II and policing techniques by the Williamson County sheriff’s business that spurred accountability and a new law has gained some of the state’s best journalism honors.
The awards are among nearly two dozen accolades the newspaper acquired from the Texas Linked Press Taking care of Editors, it was declared Tuesday.
Tony Plohetski was named Texas Star Reporter of the 12 months. In their feedback, judges observed how he fought for months to uncover that Ambler died after deputies chased the 40-year-outdated Black father in a pursuit that started off for the reason that he unsuccessful to dim his headlights and then employed Tasers on him various situations whilst the actuality Tv exhibit “Live PD” filmed.
That reporting, which bundled contributions from Statesman employees writers Claire Osborn and Julie Chang and photojournalist Bronte Wittpenn, also was honored as the Texas APME Star Investigative Report of the Yr.
“Between quite a few solid investigative series by Texas newspapers in 2020, this was the obvious standout,” judges wrote. “The more the reporter dug, the additional outrageous tactics he uncovered. Some were practically unbelievable.”
The Statesman’s reporting on Ambler’s death last thirty day period acquired a 1st spot National Headliner Award for investigative reporting, with judges noting that Plohetski used “established and newly designed resources to pull the curtain back again on the sheriff and the section.” And it not too long ago acquired the gold showcase award for enterprise and innovation from the Texas Headliners Foundation.
“Tony’s get the job done is amazing since he took on an entrenched political equipment and uncovered such a level of wrongdoing that it has led to many arrests, even new laws,” Statesman Govt Editor Manny García stated. “This is the extremely definition of general public provider and what our newsroom stands for.”
The reporting, which started in February 2020, helped guide to the cancellation of the Tv set truth show criminal charges from previous Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody, relating to the destruction of “Stay PD” footage his ouster from office and a Texas legislation banning regulation enforcement from signing deals with manufacturing businesses to generate this kind of systems. Two previous Williamson County deputies facial area manslaughter expenses in Ambler’s death.
Amongst the other accolades, the Statesman earned recognition for its images and videography, columns and feeling writing, and breaking information and deadline writing.
“Journalists at the Austin American-Statesman are fully commited to speaking up for all those in need to have and contacting out abuses of the powerful,” Controlling Editor Andy Alford stated. “This acknowledgment of all of their tricky operate is such an honor. We’d like to thank the judges and our subscribers, without the need of whom none of this do the job would be feasible.”
Other Statesman Texas APME honors were being:
- Photographer Ricardo B. Brazziell arrived in second for Star Photographer of the 12 months and took next area for sporting activities images. Brazziell also a short while ago acquired a 2021 Barbara Jordan Media Award from the Texas Governor’s Committee on Individuals with Disabilities.
- Editorial writer Bridget Grumet earned second location for Star Impression Writer of the Calendar year and a next-place award for editorial composing. Grumet also recently gained a second-put award for editorial and feeling crafting from the Nationwide Federation of Press Girls.
- Sports writer Brian Davis was next in the running for Celeste Williams Star Sportswriter of the Year and 3rd for sporting activities function creating.
- Photographer Jay Janner acquired a few Texas APME honors: third location and honorable point out for aspect pictures and 3rd location for news images.
- Statesman staffers have been honored as a complete with second place for Star Breaking News Report of the Year, third place for on the web are living coverage and honorable mention for local community provider protection.
- Small business reporters Bob Sechler and Shonda Novak obtained a 3rd put in deadline creating. Sechler also was awarded third position in the Liberty of Information and facts category.
- Wittpenn and visual journalist Ana Ramirez gained accolades for their on line films. Wittpenn obtained two 3rd-put recognitions, and Ramirez obtained an honorable mention.
- Sporting activities columnist Cedric Golden and Viewpoints Editor Juan Castillo tied for 3rd place in column writing.
- Restaurant critic Matthew Odam received second spot in the Remark and Criticism classification, and Austin360 Editor Eric Webb received third place in that class.