The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is a finalist in two categories of the 2011 Sunshine State Awards, a statewide journalism competition operated by the South Florida professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The contest recognizes the best Florida journalism published in 2010.

Reporter/blogger Ralph De La Cruz is a finalist for independent blog. De La Cruz wrote about Gov. Rick Scott’s plans for education, how Sen. Marco Rubio appeals to two very different groups of Floridians, and the Chilean mine rescue, among other topics.

Freelance reporter Thomas Francis, FCIR Associate Directors Trevor Aaronson and Mc Nelly Torres, and De La Cruz are finalists for multimedia package. The FCIR investigation “Fiscal Duplicity,” which examined the Florida congressional delegation’s so-called “lettermarking” practices, included a written story and radio report (en Español) by Francis, a multimedia presentation by Aaronson and Torres, and a blog item by De La Cruz.

Winners will be announced at an awards dinner June 11 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.