The David Lynch Memorial Reporting Award is given annually to a Washington-based daily print reporter. It recognizes excellence in coverage of Congress from a regional perspective. Both the congressional link and the regional element are required. For coverage of Congressional delays, Jonathan Tamari of the Philadelphia Inquirer has won the 2015 David Lynch Memorial Reporting Award.
In one of the four stories that won him the prize for regional reporting on Congress, Tamari detailed a Congressional initiative to push back deadlines for a train speed control system in the immediate aftermath of a fatal crash that might have been prevented. In another, he showed how Congress’s leaving for a summer break left crash victims uncertain about when and how much they would be compensated.
David Lynch covered Washington -- with an emphasis on Congress -- for the Buffalo News and for the Griffin-Larrabee Bureau, which served daily newspapers in New England, Alaska and South Carolina. Later, he ran a one-man bureau, with daily newspaper clients in Iowa and Nebraska.
He was a longtime member of the House and Senate Press Galleries. He served on the Standing Committee of Correspondents, which is elected by reporters to administer the Galleries. Gallery members and David's widow, Debra Strauss Lynch, created the award after David's death in 1998.
Donations from David's colleagues in journalism, his personal friends and his family are the source of funding for the award. The award trust fund and the award ceremony are managed by the Washington Press Club Foundation. The Standing Committee of Correspondents manages the judging.
How to Enter: Entries may be mailed or delivered to David Lynch Memorial Reporting Award, c/o Washington Press Club Foundation Suite 1115 National Press Club Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. If the office is closed, entries may be dropped in the mail slot. Entries also may be hand-delivered to the Senate Press Gallery, S-316 (third floor) the U.S. Capitol. (NOTE: Do not mail entries to the Senate Press Gallery. Security screening seriously delays mail delivery to the Capitol.) For further information contact Beth Crowley (202)224-0241. DEADLINE: 11/15/2016 at 5 pm. There are no exceptions and late entries will not be considered.
The award is open to any daily newspaper, online publication or news service reporter who qualifies for membership in the Congressional Press Galleries.
The Award: $2,500 and recognition at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s Congressional dinner in 2017.
Judging Standards: “Regional reporting” is defined as “work that provides insight into how actions on Capitol Hill impact the local community” and “coverage that provides a better understanding of the inner workings of Congress, with emphasis on the local delegation.” Judges will look for “thorough and incisive regional coverage of Congress” and “will take into consideration the clear, engaging nature of the writing, and the reporter’s ability to explain difficult and complex subjects to a hometown audience.”
Format for Entries: For stories published from November 11, 2014 through November 11, 2015. An entry will consist of no more than four stories. Stories must be mounted on 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper. Printouts are allowed but must show date of publication and evidence of publication in a daily-news product. A submission must include six copies of the entry – that is, stories must be collated and placed in six separate packets, with up to four stories in each packet. The contest managers will not photocopy stories and will not assemble stories into packets. Stories must be single-byline. Stories with more than one byline will not be considered. A letter explaining the impact of the entry or any special circumstances of the reporting is allowed but not required.