And the Winners Are

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Two Houston Press writers received first-place honors in a two-state First Amendment Awards contest sponsored by the Fort Worth chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Former staffer Sarah Fenske won for her feature "Black and White" in the category of Use of Public Records: General News. The category recognizes "investigative stories that make exemplary use of public records." Her story investigated whether African-American deputies are being treated fairly in the Harris County Sheriff's Department.

Editor Margaret Downing won for "A Closer Look at Dillard's" in the Opening the Books category, for stories that use business or government records to investigate corporate practices. Her story examined five customer deaths at Dillard's stores. The stores have been criticized for allegedly racist policies and use of off-duty law enforcement officers as security guards.

The contest drew newspaper entries from throughout Texas and Oklahoma.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.