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Journalistically Sound: ESPN Recognized Far and Wide for Outstanding, Impactful Work

Associated Press Sports Editors, Investigative Reporters & Editors award ESPN storytelling; multiple nominations announced for upcoming Dan Jenkins Awards

(L-R) Tom VanHaaren, Heather Dinich and Adam Rittenberg pose with the first-place plaque at the 2019 APSE Summer Conference Banquet in Atlanta. (Ryan Canner-O’Mealy)

During last night’s Associated Press Sports Editors Banquet in Atlanta, ESPN.com writers Heather Dinich, Tom VanHaaren and Adam Rittenberg took top honors in the Investigative category for their work reporting on the culture of the University of Maryland football program brought to light following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair.

Front Row caught up with the honorees to get their reactions to the win:

It was never about us and still shouldn’t be, but to have our work recognized is a tremendous honor. There is simply no way that story would have been published if it weren’t for the collaborative effort – not just between Adam, Tom and I, but also the many veteran editors and investigative reporters on our staff who guided us along the way. — Heather Dinich, ESPN college reporter

The Maryland project was a true collaboration between ESPN.com writers and editors, and I am honored to share such a prestigious award with my outstanding colleagues. This story had unique challenges, from reporting to vetting to publishing, and required months of hard work and diligence from everyone involved. In my 11 years at ESPN, I am most proud of the work I have produced as part of a team. This project ranks at the very top of my list. — Adam Rittenberg, ESPN college reporter

Given the subject of our story, it’s difficult to celebrate an award, but it’s very humbling to be recognized for our work knowing the impact it made. It’s an outstanding honor for the teamwork and diligence put into this story from Adam, Heather, our editors and myself. I’m grateful our work is being recognized the way it is. — Tom VanHaaren, ESPN college reporter

Prestigious IRE Honor salutes ESPN’s Michigan State Gymnastics Coverage

Last weekend in Houston, the Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) hosted its annual conference and ESPN’s investigative unit was awarded the first-ever IRE award for sports investigations for its work on “Spartan Secrets.”  

– Molly Mita

ESPN Well-Represented with Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting Nominations

Several ESPN reporters have been nominated in various categories for the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting which “celebrate the craft and culture of sportswriting that Dan Jenkins. . . personified through his storied career.” The 2019 winners will be announced in September.

Heather Dinich, Adam Rittenberg and Tom VanHaaren

"The inside story of a toxic culture at Maryland football,” ESPN.com, Aug. 10, 2018
Danyel Smith

"Most dominant athlete of 2018: Simone Biles,” The Undefeated, Dec. 11, 2018

Sarah SpainRuns in the Family,” ESPN.com, Sept. 2, 2018

Seth Wickersham "For Kraft, Brady and Belichick, is this the beginning of the end?,” ESPN.com, Jan 5, 2018
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