Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen has received the prestigious Batten Medal of the American Society of News Editors for his “inspiring story telling” and commitment to ordinary people.

Cullen, who also won the award in 2008, is the only person to have won it twice, the society said Tuesday.

“In compact prose, Cullen tells powerful stories that move the heart and get results; he’s not just a chronicler of the human condition, he’s an advo­cate for those whose lives he touches,” the judges wrote in the award announcement.

The award is given annually to a journalist who submits a portfolio of work, spanning a three-year period, that embodies the values of Jim Batten, a former reporter, editor, and chief executive of Knight ­Ridder, the society said. The winner receives $2,500.


“It’s humbling to win this, because Jim Batten was a gentleman, and the award given in his name is all about sticking up for the little guy, the marginalized, and the powerless,” Cullen said.

“Those are the kind of stories I like to tell most. It’s also humbling because I know the work of the other finalists, ­Lois Collins and Michael ­Phillips, and they are terrific, compassionate journalists.”

Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory, who was a finalist himself for the society’s Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary, congratulated Cullen and said he was grateful that ASNE had recognized the excellence that Globe readers have observed for years in Cullen’s writing.

“Kevin can tell a story like few other people in news­papers today, but that’s only part of his talent,” McGrory said. “What makes him such a necessary read is the way he gives voice to those people in this city and in this region who wouldn’t otherwise have one. He’s not just a delightful columnist, but an important one.”

Below are Cullen’s winning entries:


1) A Grandmother's Love Endures, Despite Red Tape, Dec. 23, 2012

2) A Miracle Story That Requires Just One More, Dec. 9, 2012

3) Teen Foretold His Own Death, Oct. 2, 2011

4) The Ivory GlassTower, March 29, 2011

5) Love and a Dose of Defiance, April 3, 2011

6) Separation and Anxiety, Feb. 8, 2011

7) A Life Lesson in Duty, Love and Hellish War, Dec. 5, 2010

8) On a Mission of Honor, Compassion, Aug. 29, 2010

9) Profiting from Misery, Sept. 7, 2010

10) The Untouchable Mean Girls, Jan. 24, 2010

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ToddFeathers.