Smoky Mountain News
Judge's Comments: The staff of the Smoky Mountain News did a superb covering a complex issue -- prayer in public settings -- with flair, depth and accessibility. No angle was left uncovered, and the quality and breadth of the reporting was particularly impressive for a small news outlet. The "Prayer by the Numbers" sidebar was especially helpful for getting a quick glimpse of the issues at play, and the story was covered in multiple formats -- spot news, analysis and opinion -- with grace and an impressive degree of sharpness. Well done.
The Charlotte Observer
Judge's Comments: Tim's stories were a delight to read -- and look at. I was constantly struck by a sense of, "Huh, I hadn't thought of that before." His journeys into the life of an American Muslim family, and the ordinary lives of local atheists, were as enjoyable as they were illuminating. The article on Catholic burials for the indigent was both moving and startling in its humanity. The Easter profiles were a smart way into an annual story that is often rote and routine. The stories benefited from ample doses of context, nuance and good editing, and were amplified by good photography and judicious use of sidebars. Very, very well done.