2022 | News

Bethesda Beat wins nine awards in press association contest

Honors given for reporting, online blog commentary

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Bethesda Beat received nine awards Friday — including two Best of Show honors — in the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association’s annual contest.

The contest was for MDDC members’ work published in 2021.

Daily and weekly newspapers and online news organizations in the region compete in several divisions in the MDDC contest. Bethesda Beat is in the online-only division.

In each category, first and second prizes may be awarded. The first-prize winners in each category are then judged for Best of Show across all divisions.

In addition to the two Best of Show awards, Bethesda Beat received four first-place awards and three second-place awards.

“The well-deserved recognition from MDDC testifies to Bethesda Beat’s commitment to serving the residents of Montgomery County and to the excellence of the journalism we’re producing,” Anne Tallent, executive editor of Bethesda Beat and Bethesda Magazine, said. “I’m so proud to work with this passionate and skilled team.”

The winners are:

Breaking news: Dan Schere, Steve Bohnel and Caitlynn Peetz won first place and best of show for their coverage of the fatal flooding at Rock Creek Woods apartments in September

General news reporting: Dan Schere won first place for coverage of the fallout when police tweeted about buskers/musicians soliciting money.

Continuing coverage: Dan Schere, Steve Bohnel, Briana Adhikusuma and Caitlynn Peetz won second place in continuing coverage for Beat stories following the case involving county police officers’ treatment of an East Silver Spring Elementary School student.

Feature writing: Profile: Steve Bohnel won second place in feature writing for a profile on Bethesda resident Ken Feinberg, who was in charge of distributing 9/11 funds.

Education reporting: Caitlynn Peetz won second place in education reporting for her story on a botched COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Sports reporting: Former Beat intern Elia Griffin won first place in sports reporting for her story on a local gymnast competing in the Olympics.

Online blog commentary: the Coronavirus Chronicles series, in which dozens of Bethesda Beat readers submitted essays about their COVID-19 thoughts and experiences won first place and best of show awards. The series was organized and edited by Leigh McDonald, Bethesda Beat’s director of audience development and digital products.

MDDC usually gives its annual awards at a luncheon, but the event was canceled for the third straight year because of the pandemic. Instead, the press association announced this year’s winners in videos on its YouTube channel.