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DESERET NEWS REPORTER WINS 2 NATIONAL AWARDS

Deseret News Washington correspondent Lee Davidson was honored last week with two national awards for his investigative series on Cold War testing.

Davidson, a 13-year Deseret News veteran, received honorable mention during the Raymond Clapper White House Correspondents award ceremonies at the White House on Saturday. Tuesday, he garnered honorable mention - or second place - in the 1994 Heywood Broun Award competition. The Newspaper Guild presents the annual Broun Award. Three winners were cited, but more than 125 entries were received.Davidson, a Kearns native, said the 1994 series came out of an earlier series of informal news reports he'd done on Utah being a government target for chemical, biological, radiological and atomic arms testing. The final piece, which ran in December, was a comprehensive list of the secret tests.

Davidson, who has spent the past six years corresponding in Washington, D.C., said he spent "the better part of last year" working on the series. Public debate on rumors of Utah's contaminated public lands and residents' predisposition to "exotic diseases" fueled the reports, Davidson added.

Kudos for his work are "nice," he said, but Davidson pointed out that the awards are good recognition for the Deseret News.

"We're a very small paper. The award winners are all from the big papers," Davidson said, noting first place winners The Boston Globe and the Dallas Morning News.

With a Utah media contingent consisting of the Deseret News and KSL-TV in Washington, Davidson said there's not a lot of competition for spot news stories. Because of this, he says, he "gets to play" with long investigative pieces.