Back slaps 

Metro Times picked up second- and third-place awards plus an honorable mention in the Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists' 2007 Excellence in Journalism Awards announced this week.

Features Editor Brian Smith took second place in features reporting for "Jesus of suburbia: A holiday tale, of sorts," a first-person piece about his friendship with the late songwriter Doug Hopkins.

Staff Writer Sandra Svoboda won third place for open government reporting for "Let the sunshine in: WSU students test your right to know." The story chronicled the attempts of dozens of Wayne State University students to obtain basic public documents from local government agencies

Meanwhile, Music Editor Bill Holdship and Metro Times staff won an honorable mention in criticism for "The 100 greatest Detroit songs ever," in which MT staffers, freelancers and fellow travelers distilled decades of Motor City discs into the first Top 100 of its kind.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or

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