By: E&P Staff Rukmini Maria Callimachi, a reporter for the Associated Press, has won the 2007 Hillman Award for Journalism in the newspapers category for her coverage of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Callimachi, who has been with the AP since 2003 was cited for being "tireless and creative as she sought out fresh ways to tell the story of the wrecked region." The awards announcement noted how she "followed up big themes, looking into the ugly racial divide in New Orleans, comparing insurance payouts to blacks and whites. But she also used small details to tell powerful stories. She noticed, for example, that the 2006 Yellow Pages was nearly half the size of the previous year's -- showing in a glance how much business had been lost. She also created a touching series for AP online of children?s stories about their storm-tossed lives and lost homes and belongings. Callimachi brought energy and urgency to the story of the still-struggling city and environs."