By: Vernelle Dorvil
The Detroit Metropolitan Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists selected Lisa Zagaroli, a reporter for the Washington bureau of The Detroit News, as the recipient of the 1999 Journalist of the Year award. Zagaroli was cited for a December 1998 series she wrote on child safety seats for automobiles and the ways they are used, manufactured, and regulated. Her articles were recognized for improving the safety of children riding in automobiles and preventing deaths by prompting new regulations for child car seat manufactures. DaimlerChrysler was prompted by Zagaroli’s articles to develop a program for dealers to install, inspect, and adjust the car seats.
The 1999 Award for Special Merit of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) was awarded to Frank Blethen, publisher of The Seattle Times. The LCCR is the nation’s oldest and most diverse civil-rights coalition. Blethen was mainly cited for his role in informing Washington residents on the importance of affirmative-action programs during the recent state voter initiative aimed at removing affirmative action, while not excluding other issues, such as the paper’s commitment to supporting women in the workplace.
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