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2001 International Wheel Award Winners Announced at North American International Auto Show

    DETROIT, Jan. 7 Winners in the 2001 International Wheel
Awards competition for journalistic excellence were announced and awards
presented today at the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center
    Print and broadcast journalists representing Newsweek Magazine and ABC
News/Good Morning America won the contest's coveted Golden Wheel Awards.
Entries by the winners -- "Ford vs. Firestone," by Keith Naughton and Mark
Hosenball, in Newsweek, and "Airbag or Murder," by Greg Hunter and Andrew
Paparella, ABC News/Good Morning America -- also won first places in their
respective categories.
    Judges described the Newsweek entry as "an insightful investigation of
what Firestone and Ford knew about faulty tires and when they knew it ... good
writing and reporting ..."  The ABC entry was a " ... balanced and thorough
report ...," according to the judges.  "When technology holds a possible
answer as to the matter of murder or accident, it captures an audience's
attention," they said.
    The 2001 Wheel Awards honor the top journalists for stories published or
aired during the industry's 2000 model year that ended September 30.
    The Detroit News won eight of the contest's awards including two first
places and an unprecedented first, second and third place sweep in the
Newspaper Reporting category.  The first places were won by The Detroit News
Auto Staff, and in the Product Review category, by Paul and Anita Lienert.
    A duplicate category-sweep was scored in the newly added Internet News
Reporting category by First place winners were Michael Strong, Bengt Halvorson, Paul Eisenstein and 
Jim Burt.
    Other first place winners included Mark Rechtin and Jim Crate, Automotive
News, in the Special Interest Publications category; Jim Mateja, Chicago
Tribune, in the Editorial/Column category; Roderick Meloni, WDIV-TV (Detroit),
in the News Programming/Documentary category.
    Publications and stations represented by runners-up in the nine-year-old
contest included Automotive Industries Magazine, Business Week, Car and
Driver, Fortune, Detroit Free Press, The New York Times, Ward's Auto World,
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC-TV Toronto)and ai-online  .
    The Wheel Awards -- including $13,000 in cash prizes -- were presented by
President Edward Lapham of the sponsoring Detroit Press Club Foundation during
the press preview days that precede the Saturday, January 13 formal opening of
the auto show.
    Stylized wheel trophies and a $1,000 cash prize were presented to each of
the contest's first place winners.  Each Golden Wheel winner received an
additional $2,500.  Their entries were selected from among all first place
winners as Best of the Best in their respective medium.
    The contest was established by the 36-year-old foundation as an extension
of its charter to promote excellence in journalism, and in recognition of
Detroit and Michigan's global significance in the auto industry, according to
Lapham, editor of Automotive News.
    Winners were selected from among more than 135 entries from news media in
the United States and Canada.  They competed in four divisions: Reporting by
medium, and "print only" and "broadcast only" categories including
Editorial/Column, News Programming/Documentary and Product Review.
    Judging was conducted by faculty members at the University of Nebraska's
College of Journalism and Mass Communications under the direction of Dean Will
Norton, Jr.
    Following are the winners in the Detroit Press Club Foundation's 2001
International Wheel Awards:

    Their work was judged "Best of the Best" from among all entries

    PRINT:  "Ford vs. Firestone," Keith Naughton and Mark Hosenball, Newsweek
    BROADCAST:  "Airbag or Murder," Greg Hunter/Andrew Paparella, ABC
News/Good Morning America

    REPORTING NEWSPAPERS:  1st place) "Tire Recalls, Tragedies Tax Ford,
Firestone and Public," The Detroit News Auto Staff; 2nd) "Taken for a Ride -
How Daimler Snared an American Icon," Bill Vlasic & Bradley Stertz, The
Detroit News; 3rd) "GM & Ford Fight for Korean Foothold," David Phillips, The
Detroit News.  Honorable Mention: "Ah, The Aroma of Just-baked Beans," Tim
Moran, The New York Times; "When Secrecy Explodes," David Zemon and Janet Fix,
Detroit Free Press.

    GENERAL INTEREST MAGAZINES:  1st place) "Ford vs. Firestone," Keith
Naughton and Mark Hosenball, Newsweek; 2nd) "Running Rings Around Saturn,"
David Welch, Business Week; 3rd) "The ECO-Cars," David Welch, with Lorraine
Woellert and Paul Raeburn, Business Week.  Honorable Mention: "Digital
Wheels," Emily Thornton, with Larry Armstrong, Matthew Karnitschnig, Kathleen
Kerwin, and Kate Carlisle, Business Week.

    SPECIAL INTEREST PUBLICATIONS:  1st place) "Fake Sales Mar Mitsubishi
Total," Mark Rechtin and Jim Crate, Automotive News; 2nd) "Making the 5-Day
Car," Gerry Kobe, Automotive Industries Magazine; 3rd) "By Design," Drew
Winter and Katherine Zachary, Ward's Auto World.

    INTERNET:  1st place) "Firestone Series," Michael Strong, Bengt Halvorson,
Paul Eisenstein, Jim Burt,; 2nd) "Iceland's Hydrogen
Future," Paul Eisenstein, 3rd) "GM's Blue Macaw"
Paul Eisenstein, .  Honorable Mention: "Life With
Insight," Lindsay Brooke, Dale Jewett, Gail Kachadourian, Gerry Kobe, John
Peter, Lisa Wilson, ; "When Good Cars Go Bad: Emergency
Roadside Primer," Brent Romans, ; "Cult of Speed" Marty

    TELEVISION:  1st place) "Airbag or Murder," Greg Hunter/Andrew Paparella,
ABC News/Good Morning America.

    RADIO:  No awards

    EDITORIAL/COLUMN (print only)
    lst place) "Dubious Pump Price a Pain in the Gas," Jim Majeta, Chicago
Tribune; 2nd) "Environmental Architect to Lead Rouge Makeover," Jon Pepper,
The Detroit News; 3rd) "Inside the GM Matrix," Drew Winter, Ward's Auto World.
Honorable Mention: "GM Tries to Woo Skeptics," Alex Taylor III, Fortune;
"Plymouth Dies - A Good Move; Your Turn GM," Charles Child, Automotive News;
"Ford Works 5-year SUV Plan for More PR," Jim Mateja, Chicago Tribune.

    lst place) "Ford Windstar Head Gasket Trouble," Roderick Meloni, WDIV-TV
(Detroit).  Honorable Mention: "Car Theft," Richard Wright, Marketplace, CBC-
TV (Toronto).

    PRODUCT REVIEW (print only)
    lst place) "It's Thumbs Up for the PT Cruiser, New Town and Country
Measures Up," Paul and Anita Lienert, The Detroit News; 2nd) "Luxury Cars Get
Even More So," David Welch, Larry Armstrong, Kathleen Kerwin, Joann Muller,
William Glasgall, Business Week; 3rd) "Its Phat!," Gail Kachadourian, John
Peter, Automotive Industries Magazine.  Honorable Mention: "Fanzy Panzers,"
Tony Swan, Car and Driver.

    PHOTOGRAPHY HONORABLE MENTION:  "A Day Inside the Global Automotive
Industry," David Versical, Automotive News.