First in the Nation

Bob Burtman, a staff writer for the Houston Press, has been named the national winner of the 1998 John Barlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism.

The award, given by the Medill School of Journalism of Northwest University, honors the memory of John Barlow Martin, whose magazine stories about such topics as labor racketeering, poor working conditions and racism prompted public policy changes.

Burtman, 41, who joined the Press in 1995, was honored for his May 1997 story "Shadow Over Texas City," which examined the dangers faced by those who live in the shadow of petrochemical plants, and the financial difficulties those people face in trying to leave their homes.

Previously, winners of the first-, second-, and third-place John Barlow Martin awards have gone to writers from The New Yorker, Life magazine, Esquire, Newsweek, Time and the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

 
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