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Birmingham Times captures 1st place awards for social justice, COVID-19 reporting; best design


The Birmingham Times

The Birmingham Times Media Group (BTMG) was recognized Saturday evening with first place Alabama Press Association (APA) awards for stories and photographs covering social justice protests and the COVID-19 pandemic, among the top local and national stories of 2020.

Also, The Times was honored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) during its virtual convention with first place awards in Newspaper Excellence; Social & Criminal Justice and Layout and Design. In all, the media publisher won a total of 12 journalism awards over the weekend, including its second national award for general excellence.

The APA, celebrating 150 years, presented the awards during its summer convention in Orange Beach. The South Carolina Press Association membership judged this year’s 1,852 entries from approximately 54 outlets.

The Times won a total of nine state awards, six in first place including Community COVID award; and Best News Photo and Best Spot Photo for “A City Protests” by Times freelancer Ameera Steward.

The COVID award was part of a March 2020 package titled “Pandemic and Pandemonium, Seven Days in Birmingham” written by executive editor Barnett Wright at the start of the health crisis. The judges wrote: “It was so important to the minority community that it serves by starting early to create awareness of the impact this pandemic could have.”

Other first place awards went to Kacy Sesser Dorne for Best Layout and Design; Sherrel Stewart & Javacia Harris Bowser for Best Special Section (Black History Month 2020: Faith, Family and Community) and Best Use of Photographs/Editorial Content.

The Times also placed second in Best Newspaper Website; Best Production and Printing; and third in General Excellence.

In the NNPA contest, the Times’s “Know Justice Know Peace” series won first place in the  Social & Criminal Justice and Layout & Design categories, in addition to General Excellence. The NNPA is a trade association of more than 200 African American community newspapers from around the United States.

“We are pleased that journalists in our industry have once again recognized the hard work of the Birmingham Times team over the last year,” said Sam Martin, president and publisher of the BTMG. “Awards are never the goal in covering our community, however, this recognition is appreciated and a nice way to say well done to the entire Times team.”

Since The Birmingham Times was rebranded in 2016 the media publisher has won nearly three dozen journalism awards in national and state contests including 1st place awards for General Excellence; Best Feature Story and Best Layout and Design.

The Birmingham Times was recognized in these categories:


Community COVID Coverage (1st place)

Best News Photo (1st place)

A City Protests

(Ameera Steward)

Best Spot Photo (1st place)

A City Protests

(Ameera Steward)

Best Layout And Design (1st place)
(Kacy Sesser-Dorne)

Best Special Section (1st place)

(Sherrel Stewart & Javacia Harris Bowser, Black History Month)

Best Use of Photographs/Editorial Content (1st place)

Best Newspaper Website (2nd place)

Best Production and Printing (2nd place)

General Excellence (3rd place)


General Excellence (1st place)

Social & Criminal Justice (1st place)

(Know Justice Know Peace)

Layout & Design

(Black Lives Matter & Know Justice Know Peace)

Updated at 11:40 a.m. on 6/28/2021 to include the NNPA awards

Updated at 8:07 p.m. on 6/30/2021 to correct the number of outlets submitting entries