Orlando Sentinel wins six first-place awards in Florida journalism contest

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH – The Orlando Sentinel’s newsroom took home six first-place awards on Thursday as the Florida Society of News Editors announced the winners of its statewide journalism competition.

The annual awards recognized the best work from Sunshine State journalists and news organizations produced in 2021. The Sentinel competed in the group that included the largest newspapers in the state.

The series “Locked Out - How COVID exposed Florida’s eviction crisis,” written by Caroline Glenn and Desiree Stennett, won first place in business reporting. The series also won third place in the community leadership category.

Sports columnist Mike Bianchi took first place in the the columnists competition, with Sentinel news columnist Scott Maxwell coming in second.

El Sentinel editor Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio took home two first-place awards in the Spanish language categories – one in news reporting for coverage of the fifth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting and one in enterprise reporting for a story on a 95-year-old Marc Anthony fan.

GrowthSpotter.com, the Sentinel’s business and real estate website, won the top award for best niche site or app.

The front page of the June 12, 2021, edition of the Sentinel, which commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Pulse shooting, won first place for best design.

The Sentinel also won second-place awards in community leadership for its “ghost” candidate reporting, in multimedia for its Joel Greenberg podcast series, in news interactive for its map exploring Black history in Central Florida and in features video for coverage of the Pulse anniversary.

Other third-place awards included the “ghost” candidates stories in enterprise reporting, a transgender golfer in features and photo entry in sports photography.