Chronicle Staff Report
Chronicle Reporter Layla Garms has won a first place award in the National Newspapers Publisher’s Association’s Merit Award competition.
The awards were presented Thursday, June 21 at the historic Paschal’s Restaurant facility in Atlanta during the annual summer convention of NNPA, a Washington, D.C.-based organization made up of the nation’s more than 200 black-owned newspapers.
Garms claimed the top prize in the highly-competitive Best News Story category for her Nov. 10, 2011 front-page story, “WSPD denies ACLU’s charge that checkpoints target minorities.” The story was one of several Garms wrote about the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina’s claim that police forces throughout the state, including Winston-Salem cops, mainly focused their stationary license checkpoints in largely black and Hispanic communities. Though the WSPD chief denied the charges, the Department did make changes to its checkpoints policy in the wake of the allegations.
NNPA Merit Award entries were judged by a panel of respected journalists and journalism educators. George Curry, the former editor of Emerge magazine and the current editor-in-chief of the NNPA News Service, oversaw the judging.
“Layla covered every angle of this story and her diligence has been rewarded,” said Chronicle Managing Editor T. Kevin Walker.
Garms, a Winston-Salem State University alumna, has been a reporter at The Chronicle since 2006. This is her second first-place award from the NNPA. She has also won three first-place N.C. Press Association awards for her work.