Nora Boustany and Blaine Harden of The Washington Post have won awards for their coverage of Lebanon and Africa, respectively.

Boustany, a special correspondent in Beirut, won the George Polk Award for foreign reporting for "her coverage of the plight of Palestinian refugees and the trauma of Beirut."

Harden, The Post's Nairobi bureau chief, won the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) award for nondeadline writing for his account of a river journey through Zaire and other stories from Africa.

Tom Shales, The Post's television critic, won an ASNE award for obituary writing for his appreciations of entertainers Ray Bolger, David Susskind, Danny Kaye and Rita Hayworth.

Final selections for the Polk awards, established in honor of a CBS correspondent who was murdered during the Greek civil war while trying to reach a guerrilla leader for an interview, were made by a committee of faculty members and alumni from Long Island University.

The statement from the university said Boustany was honored because, "At great personal risk and with extraordinary courage, Ms. Boustany entered a Palestinian refugee camp, reported conditions and accompanied the women on their 'passage of death' journey as they slipped in and out of the camp with life-preserving supplies. Her accounts of the opening of the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp, the breakdown of civilization in Lebanon and, indeed, the trauma of Beirut were exemplars of resourceful and sensitive reporting."

Other winners included a team from The Arizona Republic for its expose of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; The Charlotte Observer for its coverage of the Jim Bakker and PTL scandal; Ron Ridenhour of New Orleans CityBusinessfor local reporting; the Knight-Ridder Washington bureau for political reporting; The Wall Street Journal for financial reporting; Chris Mortensen of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution for sports reporting; Roger Rosenblatt of Time for magazine reporting; Science News for science; Gordon Manning of NBC News for foreign television reporting; CNN for network television reporting; Margie Nichols of WSMV-TV in Nashville for local television, and Larry Bensky of Pacifica Radio for radio reporting.

The career award for a body of work went to Murray Kempton, a columnist for Newsday.

Besides Harden and Shales, the recipients of ASNE awards were: Jimmy Breslin, New York Daily News columnist, for commentary-column writing; Bob Herbert of the News for deadline writing; James Klurfeld, associate editor of Newsday, for editorial writing, and Carl Schoettler of The Evening Sun in Baltimore, with Shales, for obituary writing.