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Simon Denyer and Michael Cavna recognized at National Headliner Awards

The Washington Post’s China Bureau Chief Simon Denyer and Comic Riffs Columnist Michael Cavna have been recognized at the 83rd National Headliner Awards. Denyer won first place for the international news beat coverage category for his series, “Voices of Tibet.” Cavna won second place for the lifestyle blog category for his visual dissection of the cinematography of “Spotlight.”

Denyer took advantage of a government invitation to visit Tibet – usually off-limits to Western correspondents – and turned out a string of insightful and masterful stories. He wrote about: a “folk village” – a touristy re-creation of a real Tibetan settlement – and compared it to modern-day Lhasa; the monk China has designated as the Panchen Lama, the second most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism, and a man expected to be loyal to the Communist government in Beijing; fishy tourism figures; and an opera that purports to tell the tale of Princess Wencheng – with a very pro-Chinese slant. And while in Tibet, Simon carried out the first Facebook Live from that remote part of the world.

Cavna’s portfolio included his visual dissections of the cinematography of “Spotlight” and “All the President’s Men” (the latter upon its 40th anniversary), as well as his look at the “rules of persuasion” by which the creator of “Dilbert” long predicted a Trump victory – resulting in one of The Post’s most-trafficked entertainment features of the year.

The National Headliner Awards are presented in three main categories: print, broadcast and online. It is one of the oldest and largest contests in the country and “recognizes journalistic merit in the communications industry.”