Outlet: Berkshire Eagle
Journalist: Christopher James
Tags: sports journalism
Read full announcement post.
His editors’ nomination explains the project:
In late 2011 and early 2012, before the death of retired NFL great Junior Seau, The Berkshire Eagle editors recognized that concussions could turn into the story of the year in football — and perhaps in the entire sports world. We assigned sports reporter Christopher James to analyze the issue and look at how youth leagues and schools in the county had addressed it. The result was a multi-story package that the Associated Press Sports Editors recognized as one of the 10 best stories of the year in 2012 in the explanatory journalism category.
Judges explained why James won the DFMie:
A difficult topic is presented in a readable, clear-headed manner. What could have been a clinical story was instead a vivid read. We think the impact here is high, as this equips players and parents with information that has long been lacking but will play an important role in important decisions.
Other sports finalists were :
- Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press for his story on a sweetheart stadium deal that enriched former Minnesota Vikings General Manager Mike Lynn.
- Kyle Goon and Melinda Rogers of the Salt Lake Tribune for their stories on a benefactor’s relationship to a high school football team.
James has been with The Berkshire Eagle since 2010, serving as the sports department’s high school coordinator since 2011. Before The Eagle, James, 27, spent two years working as a sports writer at The Daily Times in Maryville, Tenn., just south of Knoxville.
He is a 2008 graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. The Maine native was honored by the New England Newspaper and Press Association for a 2011 story on recruiting at small colleges.