Hurricane Katrina coverage brought Pulitzer Prize recognition for the Biloxi Sun-Herald and New Orleans Times Picayune. In the world of Jewish newspapers, it did the same for Deep South Jewish Voice.

On June 15, DSJV received the first-place Simon Rockower Award for excellence in comprehensive coverage for “Devastating Blow,” its Hurricane Katrina coverage. The Rockowers, presented by the American Jewish Press Association, are the highest recognition in the Jewish newspaper field.

Based in Birmingham, DSJV covers the Jewish communities of Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. After the storm, with the demise of the Jewish News in New Orleans, DSJV stepped in to serve as Louisiana’s Jewish newspaper as well.

Much of the DSJV coverage, which was supplemented on its website, was picked up by Jewish papers worldwide. The Rockower entry included full copies of every issue from September to the end of the calendar year, but the Web content was not considered.

DSJV also received a third-place award for excellence in personality profiles for Judith Michaelson’s story about Michael Saag’s continuing work in the battle against AIDS. Saag is director of the 1917 AIDS Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and an internationally renowned researcher.

The paper competes in the small-circulation category, with publications from much larger markets including Atlanta, St. Louis, Phoenix, Denver and Houston. It is the second year in a row that the paper has received two Rockowers.

The AJPA annual conference was held June 13 to 16 in Baltimore.


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