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L.A. Times editorial writer Robert Greene wins Walker Stone Award

March 12, 2010 |  1:19 pm

Los Angeles Times editorial writer Robert Greene has been awarded this year’s Walker Stone Award for “outstanding achievement in editorial writing” by the Scripps Howard Foundation.

The award announced Friday is one of several accolades presented by the foundation each year to honor “the best work in the communications industry and journalism education.” Greene’s award was for editorials he wrote in 2009.

“I was very excited and I felt honored and humbled,” Greene said after learning of the honor. “It’s especially interesting to win an award as an editorial writer, because editorials are not bylines. You are writing on behalf of the paper. It’s gratifying to be recognized for that, but it’s humbling to be writing on behalf of the entire editorial board, which in a sense is writing on behalf of the entire Times.”

Entries for the editorial writing award are judged on “general excellence, quality of writing, forcefulness, creativity and importance to the public interest,” according to the Scripps Howard Foundation website.

“This is a very difficult time for California and all Californians,” said Greene. “It’s important that there be a very serious conversation about what we do. It’s our job as editorial writers to be part of, and when we can, to lead that conversation.”

Greene, 50, who has covered California state government for 18 years, was able to efficiently explain the budget crisis to readers, while advocating for solutions that were “reasonable and humane, but that dealt squarely and honestly with the hard choices facing the state,” said Nick Goldberg, the Times’ editorial page editor.

He praised Greene as “the driving force” behind much of the political coverage on the editorial pages.

“He’s a great reporter and a terrific, thoughtful analyst who knows how government really works,” Goldberg said. “His editorial series on this year’s state budget crisis -- and on the need for dramatic political reform in California -- was clear, trenchant and intellectually honest.”

Greene joined The Times in 2006, following stints at LA Weekly and the Metropolitan News-Enterprise. His job at the Times was his first writing editorials.

Other papers to win Scripps Howard Foundations awards for 2009 included the New York Times for commentary and environmental reporting; the Associated Press for breaking news and photojournalism news; and the Philadelphia Daily News for investigative reporting.

-- Ann M. Simmons