By: E&P Staff
The last name of one of the honorees in the annual National Headliner Awards announced Wednesday sounded especially familiar.
Taking second place for news beat coverage behind Michael Mansur of The Kansas City (Mo.) Star were Ben Raines and Bill Finch of the Mobile (Ala.) Register. Raines happens to be the son of Howell Raines, the former executive editor of The New York Times, who is very much back in the news himself due to the flurry of publicity surrounding the new Jayson Blair book.
But young Raines, who specializes in environmental issues, is hardly a neophyte. In fact, he has won several national awards, including prizes from the National Press Club in Washington, the Southern Environmental Law Center and The John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism.
His second-place prize in this year’s Headliner competition was for a lengthy report last July on the value and possibly catastrophic risks of a proposed facility on Mobile Bay for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG). The Headliner Awards are sponsored by The Press Club of Atlantic City, N.J.
Raines, a graduate of New York University’s film program, began his newspaper career at The Bulletin in Bend, Ore. He has been at the Mobile Register since 1999. His Oakes Award was for stories exploring the dangers of mercury in seafood, which led to new testing and the creation of a federal task force to address mercury pollution in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. waters.