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Empire reporter wins national award

Posted: April 12, 2014 - 10:52pm

When you’re the underdog, victory tastes that much sweeter. Just ask Empire reporter Melissa Griffiths, who will return to Juneau next week carrying some extra hardware in her carry-on bag.

Griffiths took home the award for Outstanding Newspaper Article during the 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards held in Los Angeles Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Griffiths was nominated for her 2013 series “LGBTQ in the Capital,” along with nominees from the Associated Press, New York Times, San Antonio Express-News and the Los Angeles Times.

“Feels absolutely unreal, but I won!” Griffiths said in an Instagram post. “We won, Juneau!”

Griffiths explored the issues and experiences of the LGBTQ community in Alaska’s capital city with a multi-part series that ran during the span of a week last April.

“All of us at the Empire couldn’t be prouder of Melissa,” Empire Managing Editor Charles L. Westmoreland said. “All of us who work with Melissa know of her gift for telling people’s stories, and today the rest of world knows it too.” 

When Griffiths returns to Juneau she will do so as a full-time reporter, leaving behind her duties as Neighbors editor. Westmoreland said the transition has been in the works for more than a month and the newspaper was waiting for Griffiths to return from her trip, win or lose, before making the switch official.

“It became pretty clear a while ago that what Melissa does, the kinds of stories she writes, should be on the front page,” he said. “She’s grown since coming to the Empire a few years ago, and our newspaper and the community will benefit from her being able to focus on writing full time.”

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.

This story is developing. Read Monday’s Juneau Empire for more.

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Steven Rosales
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Steven Rosales 04/13/14 - 11:01 am
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That is

pretty funny! I bet her parents are so proud. GLAAD Awards were probably given to anyone who wrote about this topic. Why not do a 5 part story on how marriage between a man and a woman with children are what makes this nation strong.

Juanita Reese
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Juanita Reese 04/13/14 - 11:23 am
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Thank you

Thank you Melissa and the Empire for writing and publishing the front page series, 'LGBTQ in the Capital City.' To be nominated is amazing, but to win, when running against papers such as the LA and New York Times is incredible. Our little town is big in talent and in heart.

Kimberly Griffiths
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Kimberly Griffiths 04/22/14 - 12:39 pm
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To Mr. Rosales,

As Melissa's mother, I can tell you that her father and I are very proud of her.
She is without prejudice; she cares about the world she lives in, including the people who live there, regardless of their color, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.
She is an intelligent person who is compassionate and thinks for herself. I'm sure she could even find something to appreciate about you.

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