Monroe News honored by Michigan Press Association

14.05.2018 John Crouch Awards

From an original story by Monroe News staff.

The Monroe News recently won seven awards in the Michigan Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.

The contest featured 2,967 entries by 100 Michigan newspapers and was judged by members of the Missouri Press Association.

The Monroe News was in Class B for papers with circulations between 11,001 and 20,000. The contest was for work published Aug. 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017.

Monroe Magazine’s summer edition 2017 took first place in the special section category. Judges recognized the layout of the magazine, which was done by Holly Laginess, photographs by Tom Hawley and stories by reporters Danielle Portteus and Pam Meade. That issue featured stories on Indian Creek Zoo in Lambertville, the corner of flowers maintained by Paul Livernois in Monroe, Frank Connolly’s jewelry designs and a Bedford Township’s couple’s backyard and home.

“Beautifully laid out magazine,” the judge said. “Vibrant photos played particularly well. Absolutely loaded with info.”

Sports editor Niles Kruger was presented with two awards, first and second place, in sports writing. His piece “Next Stop, Ford Field,” about Whiteford’s football team reaching the state championship took first place. The second place entry, “Levicki carries load” about Ida’s Nick Levicki, was recognized as “a very close second. Great game story,” the judge said.

Hawley’s photo story “Courage with a Smile” about Elyse (Elly) Wickenheiser’s cancer battle took second place.

“Photos here did a nice job to telling an overall story and it was strongly edited to clearly focus on the subject,” the judge said. “Each photo had a good emotional pull.”

Portteus took third place in the spot news category for her work covering the fire at BridgePoint Church in Temperance.

Sports reporter Ryan Loren received an honorable mention in the sports feature category for his piece “Living his dreams” about Milan baseball player Denver Jackson.

Staff received an honorable mention for best newspaper design for “Trump wins.”

“The centerpiece on the presidential election is a unique way to present an event that everyone else had,” the judge said. “Overall, the News does a great job using photos throughout the paper.”

Read the original story here.

Monroe News’ Tom Hawley, Niles Kruger honored by Michigan Associated Press Media Editors

27.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Original text by Monroe News staff. 

Monroe News photographer Tom Hawley was recently honored with two first-place awards and one second-place award in the annual Michigan Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.

Hawley received a first place award in the spot news category for “Tearful Fire.”

His photo story, “A Mother’s Strength” also won first place. The photo story featured Lesley Daniels, a Flat Rock resident who learned to walk again after an accident.

Hawley took second place in the sports photo category with his picture “Foul Catch.”

Niles Kruger, Monroe News sports editor, earned a second-place award for best sport column, “A Long, Memorable Day.”

Twenty-eight daily newspapers submitted 978 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2017.

Entries were judged by editors from The Canton (Ohio) Repository and The Chronicle Telegram in Elyria, Ohio.

Read the original report here.

Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Ken Willis honored with national SPJ writing award

27.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Original text by Jim Abbott, Daytona Beach News-Journal

Ken Willis, sports columnist and senior staff writer at The Daytona Beach News-Journal, was recently named a winner in the 2017 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism.

Willis was honored in the category of Feature Writing among daily publications with circulations from 50,001 to 100,000 for “Lightning: A Survivor’s Tale,” an A1 story published in the Aug. 27, 2017 edition of The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

The narrative feature recounted the dramatic story of James Church, a 55-year-old Port Orange resident nearly killed by an early-morning lightning strike on the Ponce Inlet fishing jetty. The story offered Church’s recollection of the incident as well as a window into a difficult recovery from injuries that included the loss of two fingers and perforation of part of the colon and part of the small intestine.

“It’s no secret to News-Journal readers that Ken Willis is an exceptional reporter with a great and distinct voice as a writer,” Editor Pat Rice said. “James Church’s near-death experience with lightning was the perfect match for Ken’s skill with language and his attention to detail. This SPJ national award for ‘Lightning: A Survivor’s Tale’ is well-deserved high praise.”

Willis, meanwhile, offered thanks to Church for sharing his story.

“No matter where you go, everybody has a story to tell. Sometimes, you find somebody with a story that’s much better than most,” Willis said. “And if you find an amazing story with the right person recounting all of the circumstances, that’s when you’ve got something. James Church’s story of survival was amazing, so frankly there wasn’t much to do but get out of the way and let it unfold.”

For a complete list of winner, visit SPJ.

Read the original report here.

Herald-Tribune’s ‘One War. Two Races.’ named as Hillman Prize finalist, wins Sigma Delta Chi award

27.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Original text by Herald-Tribune staff. 

The Herald-Tribune’s “One War. Two Races.” series was a finalist for the 2018 Hillman Prize, which recognizes journalists “who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good.”

The project by investigative reporter Josh Salman, investigations editor Michael Braga and web developer Dak Le showed how laws dating back to the crack epidemic continue to prejudice black defendants, even as the drug crisis shifts out of minority neighborhoods. The project also revealed how blacks have been left behind as the conversation turns to treatment.

“One War. Two Races.” also recently won the Society of Professional Journalists’ national Sigma Delta Chi Award in investigative reporting.

The 2018 Hillman Prize for Newspaper Journalism — awarded by The Sidney Hillman Foundation, named for a noted American labor leader — went to USA Today Network for its series “Rigged: Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing,” which exposed the abusive and illegal working conditions suffered by 100,000 port truck drivers in Los Angles, where nearly half of all imports enter this country.

“One War” along with the Herald-Tribune’s “Bias on the Bench” project in 2016 sparked legislation requiring sweeping, new courthouse data collection. Supporters say the new law will home in on rampant racial disparities in sentencing exposed by the Herald-Tribune’s reporting. The measure will create a uniform databank containing information on arrest and bail proceedings and criminal sentencing, and will be searchable by the public through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website.

“Bias on the bench” found that judges throughout Florida sentence black defendants to harsher punishments than whites charged with the same crimes under similar circumstances.

Other Hillman winners this year were Richard Rothstein for his book “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,” New York Times Magazine, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” and the Washington Post, Univision News/El Faro and Slate.

Judges for the Hillman Prize included Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent at The Atlantic; Jelani Cobb, a contributing writer for The New Yorker and an instructor at Columbia University; Alix Freedman, global editor, ethics and standards for Reuters; Hendrik Hertzberg, an editor and staff writer at The New Yorker; Harold Meyerson, executive editor of The American Prospect; and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation.

Read the original report here.

Dispatch photographers named staff of the year by Ohio News Photographers Association

27.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

A full moon rises over the Columbus Dispatch neon sign in downtown Columbus on July 9, 2017. [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

Original text by Alissa Widman Neese, The Columbus Dispatch 

The Dispatch’s photographers were recently named the photography staff of the year for large-market newspapers at the Ohio News Photographers Association’s annual convention.

In total, Dispatch photographers received 30 awards, including nine first-place honors in 19 categories, for work completed in 2017.

Joshua Bickel was named photographer of the year. He also placed first in the portrait personality category.

Kyle Robertson was named sports photographer of the year and clip photographer of the year through points accumulated in the association’s monthly clip contest. Robertson finished second for photographer of the year. He also received first place in the sports action and sports picture story categories.

Courtney Hergesheimer won first place for sports video, second and third place for news video and third place for feature video.

Jonathan Quilter came in first for product illustration, a category the Dispatch swept. Eric Albrecht came in second and Fred Squillante in third. Quilter and Albrecht also received second-place awards for feature picture story and pictorial, respectively.

Additional photographers receiving awards: Barbara Perenic, third place for sports photographer of the year and clip photographer of the year, second place for sports action; Adam Cairns, third place for general news; and Squillante, third place for sports feature.

The staff also raked in eight awards of excellence in several categories.

Lorrie Cecil, a photographer with Dispatch-owned ThisWeek Newspapers, finished second in photographer of the year for small-market newspapers and received an award of excellence for sports feature.

Former Dispatch intern Emma Howells, an Ohio University student, placed third for student photographer of the year and received two other awards.

Fifty-four visual journalists submitted 749 entries in the 67th annual contest.

To view all of the winning photographs, visit

Read the original report here.

Holland Sentinel honored by Michigan Associated Press Media Editors

25.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Reporters from The Holland Sentinel were recently recognized with multiple awards by the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors at the organization’s annual newspaper competition.

In total, 28 daily newspapers submitted more than 950 entries into this year’s contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2017. The Holland Sentinel earned specific honors in the Division I size category for general excellence, business writing, sports, design and public service.

Awards included-

First place, Sports Column, Dan D’Addona for “Los Dutch Have Special Brotherhood”

First place, Public Service, The Holland Sentinel for “Entitled to Fairness”

First place, Full Page Design, Nate Morrison for “Entitled to Fairness”

Second place, General Excellence, The Holland Sentinel

Second place, Sports Feature Story, Dan D’Addona for “Alone at the Top”

Third place, Business Writing, Austin Metz

Third place, Sports Column, Dan D’Addona for “We Must Respect Protestors and Anthem”

For more information, visit The Holland Sentinel.

Providence Journal honored by New England Society of News Editors

23.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

The Providence Journal was recently recognized at the New England Society of News Editors annual contest in the Best Watchdog or Neighborhood Reporting Story.

The 2017 series, “Children at Risk,” highlighted problems at the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families. Stories were written by Jennifer Bogdan and Tom Mooney, who were also finalists in NESNE’s 2016 Best Enterprise / Long-Form Reporting Story category for their “Pot & Profit” series.

For more information, visit The Providence Journal.

Record Herald honored with Keystone Press Award

17.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Reporters from The Record Herald of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, were recently named as winners of a Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s Keystone Press Award.

Record Herald editor Dustin Haluska and photographer John Irwin earned the first-place award in the Division IV, Multi-Day Publication under 15,000 circulation Breaking News category, for their story package on a fire at a local American Legion.

“Breaking news happens outside of your typical 9-5 schedule and if you aren’t sleeping next to your cell phone, you can miss it,” Haluska said. “As a reporter, there is nothing you can do to prepare for a fire or an accident, other than be willing to make off-the-clock sacrifices to get on the scene.”

The Keystone Press Awards reinforce excellence by individuals in the news media profession by recognizing journalism that consistently provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers, and faithfully fulfills its First Amendment rights/responsibilities, as well as stimulate journalists to improve their craft and ultimately improve their community.

“For a long time, I felt like we didn’t cover breaking news very well or in some cases not at all,” Haluska said. “This award is a testament to the hard work and sacrifices this staff has made to get better. Awards are great, but being a reliable and credible news resource for the community is the most important thing.”

Winners will be honored at the Keystone Press Awards Banquet during the Pennsylvania Press Conference on June 2, at the Wyndham Gettysburg.

For the complete list of Keystone winners, visit the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

Bucks County Courier Times, Intelligencer honored at Keystone, state Associated Press awards

16.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Reporters from the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer were recently honored at the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s Keystone Press Awards and at the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors Awards.

Keystone Awards include-

First place, Breaking News- Jo Ciavaglia, To them she was … a disposable child
First place, Personality Profile- Crissa Shoemaker Debree, A labor of love
First place, Series, Kyle Bagenstose, Environmental injustice in Lower Bucks County
First place, Video Story- David Garrett and Shereen Pavlides, Cook This! With Shereen: Summer Jersey Corn Gazpacho
Second place, Editorial- Guy Petroziello, Hoarding money; Tax hike; Back where it all began
Second place, News Feature Story- Marion Callahan, Looking to foster hope
Second place, Series- Kyle Bagenstose and Jenny Wagner, Unwell Water
Second place, Sports/Outdoor Column- Kevin Cooney, No excuse for Reading High’s rout; Out of the darkness, there was light; State final loss still haunting Stu Jackson
Second place, Video Story- Jen Wielgus, Saleem Martin-Adams finishing up impressive senior year
Honorable Mention, Column- J.D. Mullane, Picking up a late night hitchhiker on Trenton Road; On a rainy Thursday, a heroin arrest in Levittown; Four funerals have concluded but a crucible awards loved ones
Honorable Mention, Series- Jo Ciavaglia and Marion Callahan, Born into addiction

Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors Awards include-

First place, Best Investigative Reporting- Kyle Bagenstose and Jenny Wagner, Unwell Water
Second place, Best Business Writing- Crissa Shoemaker Debree, Sheltered Livelihood
Second place, Best Enterprise Reporting- Marion Callahan and Jo Ciavaglia, Born into Addiction
Second place, Best Feature Writing- Peg Quann, Mystery Malady
Second place, Best Public Service- Kyle Bagenstose and Jenny Wagner, Unwell Water

For the complete list of Keystone winners, visit the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

For the complete list of Associated Press Managing Editors Awards, visit the Associated Press Managing Editors.

Florida Times-Union, ProPublica series wins 2018 Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award

12.04.2018 John Crouch Awards

Columbia Journalism School recently announced that reporters from the Florida Times-Union and ProPublica won the 2018 Paul Tobenkin Award for the joint series “Walking While Black,” which examined the practice of police officers in Jacksonville, Florida, issuing a large number of jaywalking tickets, mostly to African-American males.

The award, named in honor of late New York Herald Tribune reporter Paul Tobenkin, recognizes outstanding achievements in reporting on racial or religious hatred, intolerance or discrimination in the United States.

Jurors Daniel Alarcon, Elena Cabral and Lonnie Isabel said:

Jaywalking is a minor infraction that occurs with regularity in many urban areas. In Jacksonville, Florida, African Americans, particularly males, have been ticketed disproportionately. The investigative project “Walking While Black” chronicled the discriminatory practice of ticketing in mostly black neighborhoods and the detrimental effect it has on the lives of those who are ticketed. A citation for such offenses as walking on the wrong side of the street, or in the street, or crossing at less than a right angle at a corner could lead to the loss of a driver’s license, a job or a good credit rating.

Topher Sanders of ProPublica and Ben Conarck of the Florida Times-Union used savvy street reporting and painstakingly pieced together data from several local and state agencies to show stark racial disparities across every category of tickets given to pedestrians. They showed that police inaccurately told pedestrians they had to carry ID by law, and they captured video of police officers themselves casually jaywalking with some frequency.

“Walking While Black” had an immediate impact. Reporters were able to show that police issued thousands of erroneous tickets. Government officials confirmed the interpretation of the law that led to that conclusion, but police have taken no action to rectify the citations given in error. Sanders and Conarck’s video, done in collaboration with Vox, got 2.2 million views on Facebook and another 1.2 million on YouTube.

The project points out that this discriminatory practice has existed in many U.S. cities, including Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, where a judge ruled that “stop and frisk” was unconstitutional.

For their far-sighted, meticulously reported investigation that raises critical questions about how the criminal justice system treats one population versus others, we are proud to award the journalists behind “Walking While Black” the Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award.

Contributors included Ranjani Chakraborty, Vox-ProPublica Video Fellow; Ben Conarck, Reporter, Florida Times-Union (M.S. ‘06); Hilary Fung, News Application Developer, ProPublica; Kate Rabinowitz, Data Fellow, ProPublica; Topher Sanders, Reporter, ProPublica; and Lucas Waldron, Social Visuals and Graphics Producer, ProPublica.

The journalism school also announced that The Washington Post enterprise reporter John Woodrow Cox won the 2018 Meyer “Mike” Berger Award for his series on children affected by gun violence.

For more information, visit the Columbia Journalism School.

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