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An investigative report on how a law firm’s political contributions paid off in lucrative bond work and a story examining legal strategies to curb homophobia in sports earned The Recordertwo first-place awards in the Associated Press News Executives Council’s 2002 contest. Assistant Managing Editor David Brown won a first-place award for investigative reporting for his series ” Owing Orrick.” Associate Editor Mike McKee won a first-place award for sports writing for his story ” Out on the Field.” “These awards reflect our commitment to investigative reporting and quality writing,” said Recorder Editor in Chief Scott Graham. “David Brown’s award is well deserved given the enormous amount of work he put into the Orrick series,” Graham said. “And Mike McKee deserves credit for stretching the boundaries of legal journalism.” Brown took a three-month leave from his editing duties last summer to focus on writing stories, including the Orrick series. Analyzing campaign finance data from local, state and federal sources, Brown’s series examined how San Francisco-based Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and its employees have pumped more than $1.3 million into political campaigns across the country, most of it flowing to the public officials who award contracts for government legal work. McKee’s story profiled the “Homophobia in Sport Project,” a movement among lawyers and sports specialists at San Francisco’s National Center for Lesbian Rights to combat homophobia in the realm of sports, from badminton to football and basketball to soccer. In the Associated Press contest, which includes newspapers in California and Nevada, The Recorder competed against papers with a circulation of 25,000 or less.

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