Stories about the coronavirus pandemic earned a pair of Palm Beach Daily News writers two of the newspaper’s four awards announced Saturday in the statewide 2021 Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism competition.
Darrell Hofheinz placed first across all circulation categories for his coverage of business news related to the global health crisis. He was honored for stories he wrote in 2020 and 2021 about how the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly sent Palm Beach’s real estate market into overdrive with sales that ripped through the housing inventory and sent prices soaring.
Freelance writer MM. Cloutier took second place in the same category.
Hofheinz also won second-place awards for writing in the breaking news and business news categories for Class C publications with circulations of less than 15,000.
The Palm Beach Post took home four first-place honors among its 14 writing awards, with writer Chris Persaud named in 11 of those winning entries.
Persaud and former Palm Beach Post writer John Pacenti shared a first-place award for writing in the COVID-19 breaking news category in Class A, which was open to publications with a circulation of 40,000 or more. That story examined how the state's Hispanic populations were the hardest hit by COVID-19 variants, based on previously cloaked state data.
Persaud also won a first-place honor in the general news category, with a single award given for Class A and Class B, the latter for publications with circulations of between 15,000 and 39,999. His story parsed internal state data to show that Florida coronavirus rates were twice as high in Black and Hispanic ZIP codes.
Former Post writer Joe Capozzi took two first-place awards — one in the category for serious features for a story he wrote about how Carter Viss survived a horrific boat crash that severed his right arm and mangled his three other limbs while he was snorkeling off Palm Beach.
Capozzi’s other first-place honor recognized a story he wrote in the sports-features category about a Jupiter man who “corked” baseball bats for baseball star Pete Rose in 1984. Capozzi’s two awards were given for combined circulation classes A and B.
Capozzi also shared with Persaud a second-place minority-news writing award for circulation classes A and B.
Persaud alone placed second for breaking-news writing (classes A and B), community-news writing (Class A) and COVID-19 features reporting (Class A).
With Post writer Wayne Washington, Persaud also shared a second-place award for general-news writing (classes A and B)
Former Post investigative editor Joel Engelhardt earned a third-place writing award in the same general-news category.
Post writer Jane Musgrave shared with Persaud a third-place writing award for general news (classes A and B).
Persaud also took third-place writing awards in the COVID-19 breaking news category for Class A; in the breaking news category (classes A and B); and in the minority-news category (classes A and B).
Marking its 71st year, the awards ceremony was originally planned to take place at a hotel in Dayton Beach but was instead held virtually because of the pandemic.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Daily News: Palm Beach Daily News, Palm Beach Post win awards in Florida Press Club contest