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University Relations

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Feb. 11, 2005
Contact: Jennifer Kinnard, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, (785) 864-7644.

Kansas news organizations share Burton Marvin news enterprise award at KU

LAWRENCE -- The Topeka Capital-Journal and Harris Enterprises' Kansas newspapers will share this year's Burton W. Marvin Kansas News Enterprise Award, presented today during William Allen White Day activities at the University of Kansas.

Given since 1974 by the William Allen White Foundation, the Marvin award recognizes outstanding reporting by newspapers in Kansas. The award is named in honor of the foundation's first director and a former dean of the KU School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

" We are proud of the rich history in Kansas of excellence in investigative reporting," said Ann Brill, KU dean of journalism. "It is an honor for the school to be associated with this prestigious award. We congratulate the Topeka Capital-Journal and Harris Enterprises."

In the Topeka Capital-Journal, reporter Tim Carpenter maneuvered around multiple extensive roadblocks to reveal favoritism and ineptitude in Topeka's municipal courts. His findings resulted in one judge's being fired and the chief judge's resigning under pressure. Carpenter's reports represent the best of watchdog journalism, according to the competition judge.

Harris Enterprises' seven Kansas newspapers and its Topeka bureau combined their efforts to examine consolidation as it applies to the state's nearly 4,000 units of local government. The planning, reporting, writing and editing took two months, culminating in December publication. Reporters examined the steps units have taken to unify or consolidate local governments, school districts and services. The reports exposed the multitude of stumbling blocks that have prevented a serious, comprehensive effort to streamline state and local governments and merge school districts. The combined efforts represent extraordinary enterprise in the finest tradition of the Burton Marvin award, according to the competition judge.

The School of Journalism observes William Allen White Day annually in February. This year the White Foundation trustees chose Gerald F. Seib, a 1978 KU School of Journalism graduate and the Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief, to receive the William Allen White Citation, presented annually since 1950 to journalists who exemplify White's ideals. KU's School of Journalism and Mass Communications is named in White's honor. White (1868-1944) was a nationally influential Kansas editor and publisher.

For more information, contact Jennifer Kinnard, communications coordinator, KU William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, at jkinnard@ku.edu or (785) 864-7644.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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