The Livingston Award for Young Journalists is kind of a Pulitzer Prize for the under-35 set. It honors good writing by those who have yet to grow thick around the middle and thin on top.
New Times has often done well in these awards. Bob Norman, our columnist in Broward for years, was a winner in the national category, and we have had more finalists than even an old editor can count on both hands -- yes, he needs his fingers to count.
This year, the Livingstons will be handed out June 12 at a New York City luncheon. Miami Managing Editor Tim Elfrink is a finalist for his work on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball -- which has also been tapped by Harvard University and Long Island University's Polk Awards.
And he's not alone.
Two South Florida alumni are on the list as well. Gus Garcia-Roberts, a staff writer for years who moved on to the investigative team at Newsday, is a finalist for local reporting. And Ashley Harrell, who worked in Fort Lauderdale before heading off to San Francisco and then to Central America, is listed in the international category.
The Sunshine State Awards also announced finalists yesterday, and as usual, Miami Senior Staff Writer Michael Miller is on the list more than once. He is up for honors in feature reporting for his story "Memories of Murder" and in beat reporting on minority issues for "Bloody Tide." And MIller, along with news-blog genius Kyle Munzenrieder and Staff Writer Terrence McCoy (recently departed for the Washington Post), is a finalist in the best affiliated blog category for Riptide. Finally, New Times Broward Palm Beach Staff Writer Kyle Swenson is a finalist in the diversity category for his story "Biking While Black." Who's he competing against? Janine Zeitlin of the Fort Myers News Press -- surprise -- a former Miami New Times staff writer.
The Sunshine State awards will be handed out at a banquet this summer.