The following individuals have accepted an invitation to be the first judges of the Aynesworth Awards. Each has many years in journalism as leaders in his/her particular fields.

None of these individuals work in the state of Texas.


Jean Patman – former foreign editor of Newsday – oversaw Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of starvation in Ethiopia in 1984. Jean has more than 40 years’ editing experience, including stints with Gannett, as features editor of the Los Angeles Times,Times Mirror and the United Feature Syndicate.

Marcos Breton – For more than 27 years, Marcos Breton has been the regular news columnist for the Sacramento Bee. “I write about politics, race, the economy, youth violence…. I’m an occasional baseball writer, a voter for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I’m the son of Mexican immigrants, a California native, husband, father, runner, foodie, beer geek.”

Frank Fee – Frank was a supervising editor at the Rochester, NY Times Union for more than 35 years. He then spent another 12 years as a journalism professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Robin Foster – Former metro reporter and business reporter for The Baltimore Sun and city editor of The Stamford Advocate in Stamford, Ct. As city editor, she oversaw a number of award-winning investigative articles produced by staff writers reporting to her.

Gregory Lee – Currently editorial director for Sports, Lee has more than 20 years’ experience in sports reporting and editing with a number of newspapers, including the Boston Globe, the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Washington Post. He has long been active in the National Association of Black Journalists, serving as its president between 2011 and 2013. He is also Professional Advisory Board Member of theE.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and a longtime board member of the Sports Journalism Institute.  Lee may also judge in the digital category.

Jeff Walsh –  former metro editor and features editor for Gannett Suburban Newspapers (now the Journal-News) Westchester County, NY. Jeff has more than 35 years’ reporting and editing experience. He is currently executive editor of the HealthDay news service.

Television News

Stephani Shelton – A television network reporter and producer. Stephani spent 10 years as a CBS News Correspondent and 20+ years as a TV reporter and producer for such companies as Financial News Network, WNBC-TV, WWOR-TV, WPIX-TV and as a radio anchor on WOR-AM. All New York City stations.  Her expertise is health reporting, but she has covered everything from politics to crime news in her 30+ years in broadcasting.

Andy Fisher – A news broadcast veteran who began his career during the heyday of WNEW Radio in New York City, Fisher’s television news credentials include being principal news writer for the Today show in the late 1990s and news program developer for CNBC for more than a decade. Andy will also assist in judging the digital news category.

Radio News

Ed Tobias – Ed has more than 40 years’ in radio broadcasting, his longest tenure as Managing Editor of Associated Press Radio in Washington, DC. Ed also was news director of WTOP radio in Washington, one of the CBS Network’s flagship stations.


Tim Smart  – Executive Editor of US News and World Report. Tim has been at the helm of this highly-regarded magazine for more than 15 years and was previously a reporter and editor at Business Week.


George Giokas –  George is Chairman of the HealthDay News Service, the world’s largest provider of daily consumer health news. Prior to that, he was business editor of Newsdayon Long Island, NY. He is also a journalism instructor at the State University of New York’s Stony Brook campus.

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