Best Newspaper Reporter

Thomas Suddes, The Plain Dealer

With the statehouse being overrun by an Appalachian crime spree - think The Dukes of Hazzard, only without the T&A and car chases - the importance of news from Columbus is at an all-time high. And no one delivers better than The Plain Dealer's state-government columnist, Thomas Suddes. The guy's a machine, an old-school writer who brings solid reporting, nuance, and extensive backstory to his work. Instead of yammering about campaign polls or quoting the ever-squawking talking heads, Suddes goes behind the story, revealing the history, the odd alliances, and the dime-store power plays that make Ohio's capital city the most perverse and inept in the country. "Tom Suddes is an Ohio treasure," says his boss, PD editorial chief Brent Larkin. "He is a walking encyclopedia on state government and an avid student of its history. Tom also happens to be a damn fine journalist who has an incomparable way with words. I'm just grateful he's on our pages." Cleveland should be grateful that it has a no-bullshit reporter covering the legislature.