The Lens is a finalist in six categories in the annual awards presented by the Press Club of New Orleans.

“We’re flattered that our work continues to be recognized for excellence,” editor Steve Beatty said. “I know people say, ‘It’s an honor just to be nominated,’ but I have to say, we like to win, too.”

And that’s something we have experience with.

The Lens has won five of the six awards for print investigative reporting in the past two years, the only two for which we were eligible. This year, The Lens landed two of the three finalists spots in that category.

The awards honor work done in 2012. The winners will be announced July 20 at the Press Club’s awards banquet at Harrah’s Casino.

The two Lens stories that are investigative finalists were written by Tom Gogola. The first exposed a situation in which Sheriff Marlin Gusman and then-Chief Judge of Municipal Court Paul Sens, longtime friends, hired each other’s wife. The second revealed how Gusman and city officials are quietly negotiating for the construction of a new jail facility with as many as 600 new beds – despite a City Council move to limit the size of the Orleans Parish Prison.

The Lens is a finalist for best news website, which we won last year, beating, the only other finalist.

Staff opinion writer Mark Moseley is a finalist for best blog affiliated with a news site, a category he won last year.

Education reporter Jessica Williams’ ongoing coverage of the embattled education nonprofit Operation REACH is a finalist for continuing news coverage in print.

The Lens’ groundbreaking Charter School Reporting Corps is a finalist in the community news category. Our group of more than a dozen freelance reporters covers virtually every meeting of the more than 40 charter school boards, most of which convene every month. No other news outlet provides this depth of coverage.

Our staff is a finalist in the social media category for our use of Twitter, which we use for live coverage of meetings, and Facebook.