Congratulations to the Denver Post which was honored today for its Kobe Bryant coverage. It received a Payne Award from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. The awards are given out for ethics in journalism.

Judges noted that The Post’s decision not to publicly name the woman who accused basketball star Bryant of sexual assault was made even though competing newsrooms were using the woman’s name, the information was available online, and the alleged victim filed a civil suit that would identify her.

Kevin Sites, reporting for NBC in Iraq, also received an award for his coverage of the U.S. soldier who killed an unarmed, wounded Iraqi inside a mosque.

Sites shared the videotape with the military, then helped put together a story that aired 48 hours after the incident. The story drew a public backlash, to which Sites responded by using a Web log to explain his decision to the public.