Pilot reporters take home national honors
Two reporters from the Virginian-Pilot took home honors in the 2019 News Leaders Association competition.
Kristen Zeis, a photojournalist for the Pilot, and Gary Harki, an investigative reporter for the Pilot, were named as winner and finalist in their respective categories.
Zeis won in the Visual Journalism category for large newspapers for her visual story on a transgender man’s experiences as a sailor in the U.S. Navy.
“This was a revealing look at an important story, especially one that was developing as discussions took place in Washington about the ban on transgender troops,” the judges said of Zeis’s work. “Access with the military was difficult but the story was told well, given what was available. The examination of the topic was done with sensitivity.”
Harki was named a finalist for NLA’s Dori J. Maynard Award for Justice in Journalism for his “Jailed in Crisis” series, which examined the treatment of mentally-ill inmates in Virginia jails.
Longtime Pilot editor retires
Mark Kozak, an editor for the Virginian-Pilot of more than 35 years, has retired from the paper.
Kozak worked primarily as a community sections editor at the newspaper over his career. For the last year, he served as the editor of two of the Pilot’s community news sections, the Compass and Clipper.
“The best part has been a personal connection with writers, PR folks and you, dear readers,” Kozak wrote in his farewell column. “Seems like September 1979 was just yesterday. Shalom, y’all.”v