Dallas Observer staff writer Miriam Rozen has won the Dallas Bar Association's 1995 Stephen Philbin Award for excellence in legal reporting.
Rozen's prize in the Division I newspaper category, open to all area newspapers, came for "This Boy's Life," her October 12, 1994, Observer cover story about a 15-year-old drug dealer's encounter with the juvenile justice system.
An article by Dallas Morning News reporters Steve McGonigle and Susan Feeney won second place.
This year's prize marks the second time in three years that an Observer writer has won the Division I newspaper prize. It also marks the third time Rozen has been cited by the Philbin judges. She won the Division II Philbin Award in 1993, when the Observer was eligible to compete in--and swept--both newspaper categories. Last year, she was named a runner-up in Division I.
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The citation from the judges for this year's winning story reads: "Gaining unparalleled access to the usually shuttered world of juvenile justice, Ms. Rozen provides the reader with a powerful insight into the system--or what passes for one--through its effects on a single boy, including the family and social factors that make it such an uphill battle to rehabilitate a 15-year-old in the 1990s."
WFAA-Channel 8 investigative reporter Robert Riggs won the television award for "The Enemy Among Us," his report on sexual offenders.
The Dallas Business Journal's Jennifer Rampey won this year's Division II newspaper award for smaller papers. Sally Giddens Stephenson won the magazine prize for an article in Dallas Child. And KERA's Glenn Mitchell won the radio award.
Judging the contest were U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, University of North Texas journalism professor Keith Shelton, and Texas Lawyer editor Joe Calve. Each first-place award carries a $500 prize.