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MDDC Press Association Announces Winners of Contest With Video Announcements

May 3, 2024

Reporters, editors and other media professionals gather for conference and awards program remotely and in person 

(Annapolis, MD) – Members and supporters of the Maryland | Delaware | DC Press Association came together this week to highlight news with integrity and excellence in journalism by recognizing the winners of the Contest, which celebrates print and online work completed in 2023 

The contest, governed by the Association’s Editorial and Advertising Committees, admitted over 1,550 entries among 86 categories.  There are seven divisions in the contest, which group member publications into categories governed by total audience numbers, combining print and digital readership.  One Best in Show award is given in each category across all divisions.  These entries were judged by news media professionals at the New Jersey Press Association.   

There are several top awards given across all divisions to the publication.  These include the James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award for demonstrating use of public information act requests in its reporting, Courage in Journalism, honors acts of courage in journalism and strength in adversity while uncovering truth, and Best Moves, which highlights the most important thing MDDC member organizations did in 2023.  The contest also honors top personnel in design and sales and honors new journalists.  Members of the MDDC Press Foundation board of directors and journalism academics judged the top awards and the video audience voted on the Best Moves.  The capstone award, one per division, is News Organization of the Year. 

The Baltimore Banner won the James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award for a wide-ranging portfolio of substantive projects that used public records in reporting.  Reporters at The Banner have obtained and used public records in a variety of ways, including suing for records, scraping data from public websites, and using video and photographic records.  The award is named for Jim Keat, a retired editor and foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, who was a long-time advocate for public information access. Keat is also a member of the MDDC Newspaper Hall of Fame.  Read more. 

Kelly Powers of The News Journal won the Courage in Journalism award for her dogged persistence in covering unrest at Delaware State University. A free press cannot be swept aside or silenced.  This award honors acts of courage in journalism and strength in adversity while uncovering truth.  The Courage in Journalism Award was established in memory of those killed at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis in 2018 and in honor of those who survived.  Read more.

The Star Democrat was awarded the Best Move of 2023 for its Summer Speaker Series: PIVOT: Conversations to Spark Change.  This series continues the momentum of their Women to Watch program with five sessions of panel discussions, one for each county on the Midshore. 

 The winner was determined by audience vote.

The Association recognized a new journalist with the Rookie of the Year award.  This award honors a new journalist with less than 18 months’ experience in the field.  Five nominations were received from three member publications. Greg Morton of The Baltimore Banner is the 2023 Rookie of the Year. The judges remarked that Morton had the data analysis skills that made his work exemplary, and teamed that with strong writing that showed obvious influence in his newsroom. The award was judged by MDDC Press Foundation Board members.  Read more.

Laila Milevski won Designer of the Year, which honors a body of work over the contest cycle. Milevski’s portfolio of work showed a unique and fun style that goes far beyond presentation into the realm of visual storytelling.  Read more. 

The Baltimore Banner won Website of General Excellence, which honors a news organization’s ability to connect with readers through social media and engagement, and local news coverage.  The judges noted the clear and intuitive design hierarchy and the use of color to create an easily navigable site.  The award was judged by journalism instructors at Loyola University of Maryland.  Read more.

The News Organization of the Year awards represent the best publication in each division.  These awards are chosen based on the points accumulated for first and second prizes in each category.  The Baltimore Banner won the award in Division A; The Frederick News-Post was named News Organization of the Year for Division B; and Catholic Review won in Division C.  Washington Jewish Week won the award in Division D; Baltimore Brew was named News Organization of the Year for Division E; and Baltimore Business Journal won in Division F.  

For a full listing of winners and their award-winning work:

The Maryland | Delaware | DC Press Association is a vibrant, influential association representing over 100 member news media organizations in our region.  We believe a strong news media is central to a strong and open society.  We help our members succeed through advocacy efforts, revenue generation, professional development and industry recognition.  Learn more at

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