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Paul Steiger, Lucette Lagnado, Michael Kamber to Receive Journalism Excellence Awards

By Caroline Ladhani

The Wall Street Journal's Paul Steiger and Lucette Lagnado and Village Voice freelancer Michael Kamber will be awarded prizes for journalism excellence by the faculty of Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism on Tuesday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 22, at the University. Steiger will receive the Columbia Journalism Award, the highest honor awarded by the Journalism School faculty, rewarding "singular journalistic performance in the public interest." Kamber and Lagnado will share the 2002 Mike Berger Award for outstanding reporting on the lives of ordinary citizens in New York City.

"The Wall Street Journal has long exemplified excellence, and Paul Steiger has raised the bar even higher," said Tom Goldstein, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism. "And as different as the Village Voice is from the Journal, this year's shared Berger Prize proves that great reporting and storytelling can be done about the least visible people in our city."

Columbia Journalism Award winner Paul Steiger has been managing editor at The Wall Street Journal since 1991, and vice president since 1992. With a career in journalism spanning more than 35 years, Steiger has also held appointments at the Los Angeles Times. On Steiger's watch, Wall Street Journal reporters and editors have won 10 Pulitzer Prizes in the last 10 years, including the breaking news reporting prize this year.

Steiger first joined the Journal in 1966 as a reporter for the San Francisco bureau. He later moved to the Los Angeles Times as a staff writer in 1968, and served as economic correspondent for the Times' Washington D.C. bureau from 1971 until 1978, when he was promoted to business editor. Then Steiger returned to The Wall Street Journal in 1983 as assistant managing editor and became deputy managing editor in 1985 before assuming his current posts.

Steiger's awards include the Gerald Loeb Award, the John Hancock Award, the American Society of Newspaper Editor's Leadership Award and the George Beveridge Editor of the Year Award. Steiger is the author of "The 70s Crash and How to Survive It" (1970). He is a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board and the Graduate School of Journalism's Board of Visitors.

Lucette Lagnado, senior special writer for The Wall Street Journal, wins a Mike Berger Award for "All-Natural Retirement Isn't So Easy, A Look at the Belnord Shows," published July 3, 2001, in the Journal. A sensitive portrayal of the lives of aging residents of a Manhattan Upper West Side apartment building, the piece depicts the residents' struggle to maintain independence and quality of life.

Lagnado has covered U.S. hospital and health systems for the Journal since May 2000. Her career as a journalist began in 1980 as an investigative reporter for columnist Jack Anderson. In 1987, she joined the New York Post as a reporter and in 1990 became the Voice's "urban guerrilla" columnist. Lagnado was then appointed senior editor, and later executive editor, of the Jewish news weekly The Forward. In 1996, she was hired as a New York-based health care reporter at The Wall Street Journal before accepting her current post. Lagnado is the author of "Children of the Flames: Dr. Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz" (1991).

Village Voice freelance writer and photographer Michael Kamber will also receive a Mike Berger Award for a moving, three-part article and photographs chronicling a teenager's illegal entry into the United States from Mexico. The piece, "A Link in the Chain," which appeared in April and May 2001 issues of the Voice, also depicts the young man's struggle to survive in the Bronx as an illegal immigrant. Kamber has freelanced for the Voice for more than a decade, covering issues and politics in the Caribbean -- including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. After September 11, Kamber traveled through Pakistan and Afghanistan, writing and photographing a series of articles on religious fundamentalism, Afghan refugees, and the future of post-Taliban Afghanistan. Currently a Revson Fellow at Columbia University, Kamber is working on a long-term project about New York City's Mexican population. Lagnado and Kamber will each receive $500 as winners of the Mike Berger Award, which honors the legendary New York Times reporter whose stories often focused on the lives of the ordinary citizens of New York City. The prize was created in 1960, a year after Berger's death, by Louis Schweitzer, a New York industrialist and admirer of Berger's writing.

Lagnado and Kamber will receive the Mike Berger Awards on Journalism Day, May 21, when Mary McGrory, the Washington Post columnist, will deliver the annual Henry F. Pringle Memorial Lecture on covering national affairs. McGrory joined the Washington Post in 1981, 34 years after starting her journalism career in 1947 as a book reviewer for the Washington Star. Her debut as a commentator came in 1954, when she was assigned to cover the Army-McCarthy hearings. In 1975, she received the Pulitzer Prize, for what was cited as "trenchant commentary spread over more than 20 years as a reporter and a columnist in the nation's capital." She was also awarded the Washington Post's highest honor, the Eugene Meyer Award, in 2001.

Published: May 06, 2002
Last modified: Sep 18, 2002

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