Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Karoun Demirjian, the Sun’s Capitol Hill correspondent, was named by her peers Wednesday night as the nation’s top regional correspondent covering Congress.
The honor, the David Lynch Memorial Regional Reporting Award, is given by the Washington Press Club Foundation to a newspaper reporter whose work provides an understanding of the inner workings of Congress and explains how its actions affect a local community.
Demirjian is the second Sun reporter in four years to be honored. Then-Sun correspondent Lisa Mascaro won the award in 2008. Mascaro now reports on Congress for the Los Angeles Times.
Demirjian, who joined the Sun in August 2010, posted 473 stories from Washington during 2011 alone, ranging from breaking-news blog posts to extensive analyses on such topics as the political fight over Yucca Mountain, Harry Reid’s challenges and successes as the Senate majority leader, the posturing among politicians and gaming companies over Internet gambling, John Ensign’s fall from the Senate and how national politics affect the Silver State.
The judges, appointed by an elected panel of congressional reporters, said Demirjian's reporting decoded the sometimes-impenetrable world of lawmakers with political profiles and "slice-of-Hill life" stories that "draw a straight line from Washington to Nevada" and offer insights readers aren't going to find anywhere else.
“Karoun’s coverage of Congress, and how its decisions affect Nevada, has distinguished the Sun, and we are thrilled that the other Capitol Hill journalists in Washington recognize her as the best there is at what she does,” said Brian Greenspun, publisher and editor of the Sun. “I can’t imagine a newspaper beat that is more stressful and competitive than covering the nation’s capital, and single-handedly, she’s doing it masterfully.”
Demirjian came to the Sun from Jerusalem, where she reported on foreign and military policy in the Middle East and Afghanistan for the Associated Press. Previously, she covered Washington for the Chicago Tribune and Congressional Quarterly.
The regional correspondent award was one of two presentations by the organization Wednesday night. The other — the foundation’s lifetime achievement award — was presented to Edith M. Lederer, who joined the Associated Press in 1966 and became AP’s first female resident correspondent in Vietnam when she was sent to Saigon in 1972. She later covered the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the 1991 Persian Gulf War. She now reports from the United Nations.
More than 750 people attended the invitation-only event, where members of Congress, elected officials and the diplomatic corps mix and mingle with members of the press. Inaugurated by the Women’s National Press Club in the early 1940s, the event is among the oldest of the year’s media galas.