The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting placed in two categories in the 2011 Sunshine State Awards.

Reporter/blogger Ralph De La Cruz won second place for independent blog. De La Cruz’s entries included items about Gov. Rick Scott’s plans for educationhow Sen. Marco Rubio appeals to two very different groups of Floridians, and the Chilean mine rescue, among other topics. One Water, a University of Miami project funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, won first place.

Freelance reporter Thomas Francis, FCIR Associate Directors Trevor Aaronson and Mc Nelly Torres, and De La Cruz placed second in 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. WFTS ABC Action News in Tampa won first place, and the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale took third place.

The South Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists organizes the annual Sunshine State Awards. Winners were selected from more than 600 entries.