Michael Bartnett

Best Journalist

TIE: Wells Dunbar and Jordan Smith, 'The Austin Chronicle'

Although we give our readers their "BOA" freedom, we confess to having favorite reader choices – especially when you choose one of our Chronicle own. This year it’s a two-for-one, a tie between Jordan Smith and Wells Dunbar for Austin’s Best Journalist. We might say that distinction has been our own secret, but in fact Smith is returning for her second award (2007), and we thought it only a matter of time before City Hall Hustler Dunbar started picking up some hardware. As reporters, they mostly work opposite sides of the street and bring very different styles to that work. Smith is our criminal justice expert (a special shout-out this year for “Believing the Children,” News, March 27, her investigative review of the 1992 Fran’s Day Care case); Dunbar specializes in city politics and City Hall (from noise ordinance nonsense to budget bulimia). But they share sharp reportorial eyes, clear voices, and a visible zest for getting it on the page for you. This "BOA" is their joint, well-deserved award – but we’re all proud you noticed.

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