Memphis Reporter Wins GOVERNING/Stateline.org Award

Marc Perrusquia, a reporter with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, is the recipient of the seventh annual Hal Hovey Award, presented by GOVERNING and Stateline.org....
by | February 3, 2010

Marc Perrusquia, a reporter with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, is the recipient of the seventh annual Hal Hovey Award, presented by GOVERNING and Stateline.org. for outstanding journalistic coverage of state and local government. Perrusquia is being honored for his coverage of former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and other reporting on local government in Memphis and Shelby County.

Perrusquia has doggedly covered the innumerable scandals that have plagued Herenton and other local government officials in Memphis in recent years. While doing so, he has butted heads with officials intent on thwarting public records laws, then reported on the officials' hostility toward open government. He also authored a 15-part series on Herenton's career, titled Always a Fighter , that looked back at the longtime mayor's rise to power, his aspirations and his failings. This engaging read offered a balanced portrait of Herenton, someone that people in Memphis tend to either love or hate.

"Marc Perrusquia has covered local government with persistence, skill and intelligence," says Fred Kuhn, GOVERNING's publisher. "He's fought to ensure that the public gain access to critical information that government officials would rather have concealed. His work is proof that a good reporter can uncover wrongdoing, while still maintaining a praiseworthy sense of fair-mindedness and nuance."

The award, which includes a $3,000 cash grant, is presented at GOVERNING's annual Outlook in the States and Localities conference in Washington, D.C. It is named in memory of the late Hal Hovey, a dedicated public official, meticulous scholar, tireless reporter and constructive critic of state and local government, who died in 1999 after a 30-year career that included major contributions to both journalism and public service at all levels.

GOVERNING, now in its 23rd year, is an independent national magazine devoted to coverage of state and local government. It has a circulation of 85,000. Stateline.org is a non-partisan, non-profit online news publication that reports each weekday on state government. Created in 1999, it is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman | Former Staff Writer | mailbox@governing.com