Esserman Knight Journalism Awards 2023

The Esserman-Knight Journalism Awards, now in its fourth consecutive year, celebrates and encourages outstanding investigative and public service reporting in South Florida and fosters a community that cares deeply about local news. 

The Esserman-Knight Journalism Awards, now in its fourth consecutive year, celebrates and encourages outstanding investigative and public service reporting in South Florida and fosters a community that cares deeply about local news. 

The Award recognizes some of South Florida’s most impactful investigative stories and has become an honored tradition in the local journalism scene. For the 2023 Awards there were 54 submissions representing stories in Spanish and English that addressed sex trafficking, political corruption, immigration challenges, and more. 

Winners and their supporters will celebrate the Awards at the Adrienne Arsht Center on May 2, 2023. Please email [email protected] for more information.

2023 Excellence in Journalism Honoree

Kerry Sanders

Kerry Sanders is an American broadcast journalist. He was a correspondent for NBC News from 1991-2023. He worked as a general news reporter for a number of Florida television stations including: WTLV in Jacksonville, FL, WINK in Ft. Myers, WTVT, the CB-S Affiliate and later Fox Owned and Operated Station in Tampa and WTVJ (NBC) in Miami. He is a 1982 graduate of the University of South Florida, from which he received his bachelor’s degree and later a Distinguished Alumni Award. In 1996, he became a correspondent for NBC News, based in the network’s Miami bureau. He was regularly seen on NBC Nightly News, the Today show, MSNBC, and Dateline NBC. He retired on January 17, 2023, after 32 years with the network.

The 2023 Esserman-Knight Journalism Awards Finalists

Jacqueline Charles

Jacqueline Charles has reported on Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean for the Miami Herald for over a decade. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for her coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, she was awarded a 2018 Maria Moors Cabot Prize — the most prestigious award for coverage of the Americas. 

Mary Ellen Klas and Team

Mary Ellen Klas is the state Capitol bureau chief for the Miami Herald, where she covers government and politics and focuses on investigative and accountability reporting. In 2018-19, Mary Ellen was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Please support our work with a digital subscription. Sign up for Mary Ellen’s newsletter Politics and Policy in the Sunshine State. 

Noreen Marcus

Noreen Marcus is a freelance journalist based in Miami. She is a regular contributor to and her work has appeared in, FairWarning and other publications.

Douglas Markowitz

Douglas Markowitz is a  writer, student and journalist. Having previously studied at Sophia University in Tokyo, he has a Bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Florida with a concentration in multimedia journalism and a minor in film studies. He currently lives in Miami and contributes to the Resident Advisor and Miami New Times as a writer on music, film and culture. 

Alexandra Martinez

Alexandra is an award-winning, Cuban-American writer whose reporting spans such topics as immigration, the affordable housing crisis, and art-washing, and appears in VICE, Catapult magazine, CNN, and others. Currently, she is the Senior News Reporter for Prism where she covers gender justice, immigration, and worker’s rights, among other topics.

Miami Herald team
Investigative reports at the Miami Herald are led by Casey Frank, Senior Editor/Investigations and can include dozens of journalists.

Bob Norman

Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work on behalf of the Florida Center for Government Accountability has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards. 

Eulimar Nuñez and team

Eulimar Núñez is a Venezuelan-American journalist with more than 15 years of experience. She currently holds the position of Editorial Manager at Noticias Telemundo. As one of the leaders of the news digital team, she’s responsible for assigning and editing the stories that are published on the website, about a wide variety of topics. She also writes, produces and develops multimedia stories from breaking news to more ambitious editorial projects with a focus on Hispanics in the U.S. and Latin America.

Daniel Rivero

Daniel Rivero is a reporter and producer for WLRN, covering Latino and criminal justice issues. Before joining the team, he was an investigative reporter and producer on the television series “The Naked Truth,” and a digital reporter for Fusion. His work has won honors of the Murrow Awards, Sunshine State Awards and Green Eyeshade Awards. He has also been nominated for a Livingston Award and a GLAAD Award on reporting on the background of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s tenure as Attorney General of Oklahoma and on the Orlando nightclub shooting, respectively. Daniel was born on the outskirts of Washington D.C. to Cuban parents, and moved to Miami full time twenty years ago. He learned to walk with a wiffle ball bat and has been a skateboarder since the age of ten.

Jimmy Tobias

Jimmy Tobias, a reporter at Type Investigations,  is a contributing writer at The Guardian, a contributor at The Nation, and a 2021 Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow.

Christina Vazquez

Christina Boomer Vazquez is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning field journalist with more than two decades of experience in the broadcast journalism industry. Christina is Cuban-American and a Miami-native. After earning a political science degree at Boston College, she began to pursue her passion for journalism. Her career has taken her to London, Boston, Rhode Island, California, Texas and Arizona. She is now a reporter at local channel 10.

Brittany Wallman and team

Brittany Wallman is the Sun Sentinel’s Investigations Editor, and shared in the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She’s an Iowa native, went to high school in Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Florida (1991). Wallman is the mother of two and wife of journalist Bob Norman. 

Tony Winton

Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

Below is a full list of news outlets represented by our 2023 nominees.

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