Aflac Motorsports Journalism awards announced

Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence Winners Announced Annual awards in honor of journalism legend Russ Catlin CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 19, 2010) - Five individuals earned the most coveted honor in motorsports journalism Tuesday at the...

Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence Winners Announced
Annual awards in honor of journalism legend Russ Catlin

CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 19, 2010) - Five individuals earned the most coveted honor in motorsports journalism Tuesday at the 25th annual Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence ceremony. Honorees included Nate Ryan (USA Today), David Newton (, Bonnie Larkin (ESPN), David Moulthorp (Gater Racing News) and Brian Tetzler (KWGN/KDVR) for outstanding work in 2009. The presentation, held in honor of motorsports journalism legend Russ Catlin, was done in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence recognize superior motorsports coverage in five categories, including daily and other writing, local and national broadcast, and photojournalism - while honoring the memory of Russ Catlin, a motorsports journalism pioneer. More than 120 entries were submitted this year, making it one of the most competitive seasons to date.

"We understand the time and dedication that writers and broadcasters pour into their work to bring the news to the more than 75 million NASCAR fans around the world," said Keith Farley, manager of corporate sponsorship for Aflac. "Their passion and excitement for motorsports is evident and we're proud to honor them."

Keeping with tradition, the Indiana University School of Journalism judged the entries. Winners received a trophy and $1,000 scholarship from Aflac in their names to the schools of their choice. Their names are also added to a perpetual trophy housed at Charlotte Motor Speedway that carries all of the past winners' names.

"Some of the best journalists in the world cover motorsports, so to be recognized among them is truly an honor," said Scott Cooper, vice president of communication for Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We're proud to have Aflac honor these individuals for their hard work and contributions."

The award is among the most coveted in motorsports journalism. Reporters from media outlets, including USA Today, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated and The Washington Post have all been past winners.

The 2009 Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence in honor of Russ Catlin include five categories. Winners are as follows:

Writing - Daily
Nate Ryan - USA Today
Entry: "NASCAR Rooted in Fossil Fuels, Turns Over New Green Leaf"
Judges' Comments: Excellent and timely topic; good focus, details and interviews; good technical explanations and examples; well-written and well-reported.
Scholarship: Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism

Writing - Other
David Newton -
Entry: "Martin Wouldn't Change His Tough Days"
Judges' Comments: Fine and interesting anecdotal lead; great details throughout; story flows well; excellent descriptive writing; good use of sources: besides Mark Martin himself, others included owners, friends and family; the writer has crafted a good narrative.
Scholarship: Chesterfield High School; Chesterfield, SC

Broadcast - National
Bonnie Larkin - ESPN
Entry: "Science of a Wreck"
Judges' Comments: Good focus and fine story idea; graphics are excellent; multiple interviews with experts and other appropriate sources; took on an important issue and explained it well; also some good race footage to illustrate what the drivers and technical experts were saying.
Scholarship: Columbia University, The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. New York, NY

Broadcast - Local
Brian Tetzler - KWGN/KDVR, Denver, CO
Entry: "Making the Race"
Judges' Comments: A visually strong story with a unique focus; story stayed on focus nicely; well-edited and well-shot footage; great natural sound.

David Moulthrop - Gater News
Entry: "Taking Flight"
Judges' Comments: Excellent stop-action photo with good balance and pleasing composition; crisp focus; nice fan reaction in background adds to dramatic action on the track; well-framed photo.

About Aflac
For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting medical event causes financial challenges. As the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan, Aflac insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for three consecutive years and was also named by the Reputation Institute as the Most Reputable Company in the Global Insurance Industry for two consecutive years. In 2009 Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the eleventh consecutive year. Fortune magazine also ranked Aflac No. 1 on its global list of the Most Admired Companies in the Life and Health Insurance category. Aflac appears on Hispanic Enterprise magazine's list of the 50 Best Companies for Supplier Diversity and on Black Enterprise magazine's list of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity. Aflac was also named by Forbes magazine as America's Best-Managed Company in the Insurance category. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL.

-source: aflac

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Drivers Mark Martin