The Weidenbaum Center honored two recipients at the 2012 Media Retreat.
Valarie Besheda, WebMD, received the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism for Content Development. Valarie is the managing editor for news and content for WebMD. Before joining WebMD, she worked as an editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she was in charge of the paper’s award-winning daily Living section. She also worked as a metro online editor and most recently served as front-page editor. Before that, she was managing editor of the American Journalism Reviewand an editor at the Detroit Free Press, where her duties included election coverage. She also worked as a reporter at the Detroit News, covering topics ranging from schools to city and state politics. Basheda received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a bachelor of arts degree in English from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa.
Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post, received the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism for Reporting. Lori covers U.S. economic policy and the federal budget, focusing on efforts to tame the national debt. She has written extensively about every major piece of legislation to pass Congress since 2008, including the TARP bank bailout, the Obama stimulus package, and the Democratic overhaul of the health care system. A former foreign correspondent who covered the emerging economies of Central Europe and the war over Kosovo in the late 1990s, Montgomery joined the Post in 2000 to report on local government and politics. A native of Western Pennsylvania, she has also worked for newspapers in Michigan, Texas, and Idaho.