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AP Announces Gramling Awards

June 28, 2002 GMT

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The Associated Press has named 11 staff members from around the world as winners of its 2002 Gramling Awards for excellence.

The honorees include a reporter who broke numerous stories about the investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks, a team of journalists who provided multimedia coverage of the war in Afghanistan and a technology expert who coordinates field training for AP’s worldwide communications staff.

``They epitomize the best of AP and offer examples for all of us,″ said AP President and CEO Louis D. Boccardi.

The awards, now in their ninth year, are given annually to staff members whose work and initiative contribute significantly to the news report and to overall AP operations. A committee of bureau executives and department managers selected the winners, who were nominated by their colleagues.

The awards are named for Oliver S. Gramling, an AP newsman and executive who in 1941 developed AP’s first radio wire. Gramling bequeathed his estate to AP when he died in 1992, with instructions it be used for AP staff members nominated for excellence by their colleagues.

This year’s winners:

_$10,000 Gramling Journalism Awards for excellence: John Solomon, assistant chief of bureau in Washington, D.C., for coordinating AP’s worldwide investigative coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks; and Karin Laub, news editor in Jerusalem, for providing a steady guiding hand to the news staff to tell the story of the Mideast conflict accurately and fairly.

_$10,000 Gramling Achievement Awards: Kevin Hudson, director of technology training in Columbus, Ohio, for supervising field training that teaches the technical side of AP’s equipment as well as guidance on how technicians can be good-will ambassadors for the company. The other Achievement Award will be shared by a team of journalists for multimedia coverage of the war in Afghanistan: Kabul correspondent Amir Shah, Moscow-based Associated Press Television News producer Alexander ``Sasha″ Merkushev and Frankfurt, Germany-based APTN producer Tomislav Skaro.

_$3,000 Gramling Spirit Awards: Richard Pyle, New York newsman, for dedication and enthusiasm during a career that has included assignments in Vietnam and most recently in New York City during and after the Sept. 11 attacks; Angus Shaw, Harare correspondent, for working at great personal risk to provide compelling coverage of unrest in Zimbabwe; and Arlene Sposato, New York assistant communications executive, for her smooth handling of a restructured department, keeping AP work orders moving through the system without interruption.

_$3,000 Gramling Scholarship Awards: Jessica Olympia, direct radio representative in Washington Broadcast Services, who will use the award to help finance MBA studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; and Vanessa Walker-Palmer, member order manager in the Membership Department at AP headquarters, who will use the award to help finance MA studies at Baruch College in New York City.

Founded in 1848, The Associated Press is the world’s oldest and largest newsgathering organization, providing content to more than 15,000 news outlets with a daily reach of 1 billion people around the world. Its multimedia services are distributed by satellite and the Internet to more than 120 nations.