CONTACT: Jennifer Henderson, (410) 685-7878 or (800) 492-1964



Watch the five-o'clock news, listen to your favorite news talk radio station or read the daily newspaper, many people rarely question the reporter's interpretation of the news. The Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) recognizes that the media has a large influence on the public's understanding of the law and the American justice system. Every year, MSBA rewards journalists who enhance the public's understanding of the law through its annual Gavel Awards competition.

The 2002 Gavel Awards are no exception. A panel of independent judges from the fields of law and journalism reviewed entries from several categories in the television, radio, and print media. Those entrants who most successfully combined originality, creativity, and educational value to the public’s understanding of the law were determined the winning entries.

This year, MSBA will present four first-place awards and two second-place awards. First place winners include in the newspaper field - Joe Surkiewicz and Earl Kelly of The Daily Record for their series “Behind Bars - Criminal Justice: Before & After the Trial.” And in the field of television broadcast, the first place winner is Fox 54 Television reporter, John Rydell for his broadcast, "Getting Out.” In the wire service category, Maya Jackson of Capital News Service received first place for her entry, “Small Time - Where Criminal Justice is Swift & Often.”

The second place winner in the newspaper field is Gail Gibson of The Baltimore Sun for her article, “Case Pits Accessibility vs. History.” And in the field of television broadcast, WBAL Television, Channel 11 reporter, David Collins for his broadcast, “Victim or Criminal?”

The 2002 Gavel Awards will be presented during the MSBA's Annual Meeting in Ocean City, Maryland at the Clarion Resort Hotel (formerly the Sheraton) on Saturday, June 15, 2002.



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