4 journalists win Livingston reporting awards

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Reporters for The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The New York Times Magazine won Livingston Awards, given to journalists under the age of 35 for outstanding work, sponsors said Thursday.

The $10,000 awards are the largest all-media general reporting prizes in the nation. They are funded by the University of Michigan and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Christopher Baxter, 28, of The Star-Ledger, won the local reporting award for an investigation of spending practices at New Jersey private schools for students with disabilities, which uncovered questionable business practices, nepotism, high executive salaries and the private use of luxury cars.

Ellen Gabler, 33, and Allan James Vestal, 24, of the Journal Sentinel, won in the national reporting category for "Deadly Delays." The investigation found that systematic delays in testing blood samples of newborn babies for deadly disorders led to deaths and disabilities that could have been prevented. The series spurred dozens of states to make changes to address delays, such as keeping labs open on weekends and identifying problem hospitals and providing them with regular performance reports.

Luke Mogelson, 29, of The New York Times Magazine, won the international reporting award for "The Dream Boat," which reported on the plight of Georgian asylum seekers who are willing to risk their lives to reach a country that will likely turn them away.

Steven Brill received the Richard M. Clurman Award for his dedication to mentoring young journalists. Brill is co-founder and CEO of Journalism Online. He founded Court TV, The American Lawyer and Brill's Content.

In 2006, Brill and his wife, Cynthia, founded the Yale Journalism Initiative to encourage young people to become journalists. They have trained more than 100 Yale Journalism Scholars who are employed at news organizations.

The Livingston Awards judging panel included Christiane Amanpour of CNN and ABC News; Ken Auletta of The New Yorker; syndicated columnists Ellen Goodman and Clarence Page; Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times; Charles Gibson, former anchor of ABC News; John Harris, editor-in-chief of Politico; and Anna Quindlen, author and contributing editor of Newsweek.

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