The Kansas City Star has won the award for best political coverage in the prestigious National Headliner Awards.
Reporters Jonathan Shorman, Bryan Lowry and Eric Adler won for “Political Upheaval in the Heartland,” a selection of stories on U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Said the judges: “When a reporter solidly ‘goes deep’ on a politician, you just do not expect the lede to recount something the politician did as a 15-year-old or the presentation to include a photo of him with fellow students in middle school.
“But reporters at the Kansas City Star did just that in their fascinating backgrounding on Sen. Josh Hawley, writing that ‘the junior senator from Missouri is the face of the failed effort to overturn the 2020 election.’ A great read with fantastic depth.”
The Dallas Morning News won second place and the Detroit Free Press won third.
“We’re proud of the thoughtful way this reporting team sought to understand the motivations of Missouri’s junior senator in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol,” said Greg Farmer, The Star’s managing editor. “It takes courage to seek truth and cut through the noise. We’re grateful to the Headliner Award judges for recognizing the importance of this work.”
Lowry, who previously covered politics for The Star and The Wichita Eagle and now is a Washington correspondent for McClatchy, was recently named political editor for The Star.
“We’re thrilled to have Bryan returning to The Star to lead our political coverage,” Farmer said. “His work as a reporter has been tenacious and impactful, and we know he’ll bring this same energy to helping our political team be its best both breaking news and holding truth to power.”
Lowry replaces Bill Turque, who is taking on a similar role leading political coverage at The Sacramento Bee in California, another McClatchy property.
The awards announced Wednesday are sponsored by the Press Club of Atlantic City, N.J. Founded in 1934, the awards program is one of the oldest and largest annual contests recognizing outstanding journalism.
The Star has won numerous Headliner Awards, including for political coverage in recent years.