Amber Hunt Martin, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, has won the 2005 Al Nakkula Award for Police Reporting, says the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Martin, 26, was recognized for crime reporting in 2004 done in a “tenacious, fresh style that avoids jargon,” said contest judges. They said her reporting on crime in Macomb County, Mi., “immediately and constantly” penetrates the surface. Martin said she tries to focus on the people left behind by crime. “They're the ones who really have to live with the aftermath of the crime,” Martin said. “Real people are left behind to deal with this. Children are left without parents.” Martin is completing a journalism degree at Wayne State University while she works fulltime at the Free Press. The award is named for Al Nakkula, a 46-year veteran of the Rocky Mountain News who died in 1990. The winning stories can be seen at the Web link below.
Judges awarded second place to W. Zachary Malinowski, 46, of The Providence Journal, for an in-depth story about a 20-year-old woman who was killed in 2001 by a driver who was high on drugs and alcohol when he smashed a stolen SUV into the young woman's van. He'd been stopped and released the same morning by two local police agencies, and then a Rhode Island State Police dispatcher ignored two frantic 911 calls about his driving.