Deseret News' Lois Collins finalist for prestigious Batten Medal
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — A veteran Deseret News journalist was a finalist for the prestigious Batten Medal, the highest honor given by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Lois M. Collins, who has written for the newspaper for 30 years, was among three finalists for the $2,500 prize, which went to Boston Globe reporter Kevin Cullen, the ASNE announced Wednesday. The other finalist was Michael Phillips of the Wall Street Journal.
Collins was recognized for a portfolio of powerful storytelling about families and individuals coping with extraordinary challenges.
The Batten Medal is given annually by the ASNE in honor of the late reporter, editor and newspaper executive James K. Batten. The medal is intended to celebrate the journalistic values Batten stood for — compassion, courage, humanity and a deep concern for the underdog.
"Collins' strong showing in this prestigious national competition demonstrates the increasing influence of the Deseret News," said editor Paul Edwards. "Our investment in rigorous journalism that matters to families is producing meticulously accurate and compelling narratives that aren't being reported in other outlets. Dedicated reporters like Lois Collins are helping the Deseret News to guide the national coverage of the family in the way the Washington Post or Politico guide national coverage of politics."
Collins submitted 10 stories published in the past three years that showed how individuals coping with homelessness, drug addiction, disabilities, death or just raising a family faced their fears and despondency, and in many cases overcame their challenges.
"I tell these stories because I believe we have a moral imperative to give a voice to the voiceless," Collins said. "I also like people and love to hear their stories."
Collins has won multiple national honors in her career, most notably a pair of Sigma Delta Chi first-place feature writing awards in 2007 and 2008 from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Here are some of the stories Collins submitted for the Batten Medal:
- Prison inmates start hunger strike, demand...
- One year later: Slow movement on slide repairs
- What went right: How one Orem family turned...
- Salt Lake County cities, school districts...
- Teens arrested, rancher cleared after...
- Payson woman found dead in duffel bag near...
- LDS Church relationship with Boy Scouts in...
- Herriman man says his brain tumor felt like a...
- Boy Scouts in Utah, nation face... 144
- IRS commits to not target tax-exempt... 48
- Jury orders Siegfried and Jensen to pay... 36
- Prison inmates start hunger strike,... 30
- Salt Lake protesters take their message... 18
- Gov. Herbert tours state prison to... 16
- Salt Lake County cities, school... 15
- Teens arrested, rancher cleared after... 11