Telegraph reporters win regional journalism honors

Staff reportMay 11, 2013 

A pair of Telegraph reporters earned honors in the 2012 Green Eyeshade Awards for work that includes a three-part series they co-wrote about a former high school football standout and recovering drug addict who was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Reporters Amy Leigh Womack and Joe Kovac Jr. also won individual awards in the contest, which is sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists. It is the country’s oldest and largest regional journalism competition.

News organizations in 11 states across the Southeast are eligible to enter. The Telegraph competes in a division for small dailies, newspapers with circulations less than 60,000.

The Womack-Kovac series about the hit-and-run victim, “Phantom on Emery Highway,” won third place in the nondeadline reporting category. Their entry also included “Night of Panic,” about the frantic search for slain Mercer University law graduate Lauren Giddings.

Kovac won first place in the feature-writing category for a collection of stories, among them “Killing in the Country,” about the murder of a young Macon man authorities say was lured to a shack in south Monroe County and shot dead in a drug-dealing ruse.

Womack took third place in the features category. Her entry included a piece titled “Long Trail Home,” which chronicled the life of a homeless man who’d roamed America for 22 years until a Macon police officer met him and helped reunite him with his family in North Dakota.

“Joe and Amy Leigh put a premium on getting at the story behind the story,” Telegraph Executive Editor Sherrie Marshall said. “We are delighted that they again are being acknowledged for their terrific enterprise reporting and storytelling.”

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