Nearly 300 awards were chosen from 606 entries submitted in the 2013 Ohio’s Best Journalism Competition, presented collaboratively by the Society of Professional Journalists’ chapters in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.
The major categories are publications with circulation of 75,000 or greater, publications with circulation of fewer than 75,000, radio, television, online, trade organizations, and colleges $2,000 in scholarships are awarded in the college division. Entries were judged by out-of-state SPJ chapters and professional organizations.
Ohio’s Best Journalism is the only Ohio competition that honors journalists who fulfill the SPJ mission: defense of the First Amendment, support of literacy, resistance to censorship, advocacy for openness of public records and meetings, media self-criticism and community service.
Ohio’s Best Journalism 2013 Competition Highlights
LARGE PRINT–75,000 or greater circulation:
- Columbus Dispatch: 33 awards; 6 Best of Show first place awards: best daily newspaper, best page one design, best special publication, best defense of literacy-Jennifer Smith Richards, best defense of the First Amendment-Jennifer Smith Richards, and best photographer in Ohio-Chris Russell.
- Plain Dealer-Cleveland: 18 awards; Best of Show first place award: best critic in Ohio-Steven Litt.
- Akron Beacon Journal: 14 awards: Best of Show first place award: best special section.
- Cincinnati Enquirer: 8 awards; 2 Best of Show first place awards: best reporter in Ohio-Mark Curnutte, and best columnist in Ohio-Cliff Radel.
- Toledo Free Press: 4 awards; Best of Show first place award: best weekly newspaper in Ohio.
- The Blade Toledo: 2 awards; Best of Show first place award: best graphic designer in Ohio-Jeff Basting.
SMALL PRINT–Fewer than 75,000 circulation:
- Chronicle Telegram (Elyria): 18 awards; Best of Show first place award: best small daily newspaper in Ohio.
- Columbus Alive: Best of Show first place award: best critic in Ohio-G.A. Benton.
- Columbus C.E.O.: 2 awards; Best of Show first place award: best special publication-Julanne Hohbach.
- Columbus Dispatch Magazines: Best of Show first place award: best photographer in Ohio-Will Shilling..
- Crain’s Cleveland Business: 6 awards; 2 Best of Show first place awards: best small weekly newspaper in Ohio, and best special section.
- Crescent News (Defiance): 3 awards; Best of Show first place award: best reporter in Ohio-Lisa Nicely.
- Ohio Magazine: Best of Show first place award: best monthly magazine in Ohio.
- Otterbein University: Best of Show first place award: best graphic designer in Ohio-Mike Cirelli.
- Toledo Free Press Star: 4 awards: Best of Show first place awards: best page one design, and best columnist in Ohio-Jeff McGinnis.
- WKSU Radio 15 awards; 8 first place awards and 7 second place awards.
- Ideastream-WCPN: 7 awards; Best of Show first place award: best public affairs program.
- WOSU Radio: 7 awards; 2 Best of Show first place awards: best news operation-Michael Thompson, and best editor-Sam Hendren.
- WVXU Radio: 7 awards; 2 Best of Show first place awards: best anchor-Maryanne Zeleznik, and best newscast-Jim Nolan.
- Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau: 2 awards; Best of Show first place award: best reporter in Ohio-Karen Kasler.
- WHIO-TV: 14 awards; Best of Show first place award: best producer in Ohio.
- WSYX-TV / Sinclair Broadcast Group: 12 awards; 3 Best of Show first place awards: best reporter in Ohio-Tom Sussi; best anchor-Bob Kendrick; and best news operation-Mitch Jacob.
- WKYC-TV: 3 awards; Best of Show first place award: best newscast-WKYC Staff.
- Ohio Public TV Statehouse News Bureau: Best of Show first place award: best public affairs program-Karen Kasler.
- WJW-TV: Best of Show first place award: best videographer in Ohio-Ali Ghanbari.
- WEWS: Best of Show first place award: best general news site-Colleen Seitz.
- Inside Business Magazine: Best of Show first place award: best trade publication in Ohio.
- Smart Business Magazine: Best of Show first place award: best trade columnist in Ohio-Michael Feuer.
- The Lantern: Ohio State University: Best college daily newspaper in Ohio. $500 scholarship, best news writing-Thomas Bradley; $500 scholarship, best opinion writing-Michael Periatt; and $500 scholarship, best sports writing-Patrick Brennan.
- The Collegian: Ashland University: Best college non-daily newspaper in Ohio.
- The Post: Ohio University: $500 scholarship, best feature writing-Olivia Young.
- The Miami Student: Miami University: Second place, best college non-daily newspaper in Ohio.
AWARDS LISTING: Ohio’s Best Journalism 2013 Competition:
LARGE PRINT–75,000 or greater circulation:
The Columbus Dispatch swept 33 awards in the Large Print category, more than any other news organization in Ohio, with 22 first place awards and 10 second place awards. Judges gave three Best of Show first place awards to the Dispatch staff as best large daily newspaper in Ohio, best page one design, and best special publication.
Jennifer Smith Richards won two Best of Show first place awards for defense of literacy, and defense of the First Amendment (won jointly with reporter Bill Bush.) Smith Richards won four other firsts in children’s issues, K-12 education issues, investigative reporting, and public records use.
Dispatch photographers won two Best of Show first place awards, Chris Russell as best photographer in Ohio on a large circulation publication (the Dispatch), and Will Shilling as best photographer in Ohio for smaller circulation publications (Dispatch magazines). The Dispatch won Best of Show second place for special section, and Michael Grossberg won Best of Show second in the best critic in Ohio category.
Kevin Joy won three first place awards in the categories of arts reporting, rock and roll commentary and rock and roll feature writing. Other firsts won by Dispatch staff were deadline reporting, Randy Ludlow; editorial campaign, Mary Edwards; government, Jessica Wehrman; headline writing, Patty Bitler; medical / science, Misti Crane; political commentary, Joe Hallett; political reporting, Darrel Rowland; sports reporting, Bill Rabinowitz, and best web site.
Dispatch second place awards were for consumer reporting, environment, explanatory, headline writing, investigative, newsmaker profile, religion, and social issues.
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) won 18 awards include five first place and 13 second place awards. Steven Litt won Best of Show first place as the best critic in Ohio, and reporter Olivera Perkins won two firsts, in business reporting and business profile. Branson Wright won first place in sports profile, and Rachel Dissell won first in criminal justice reporting.
The Plain Dealer was second in the Best of Show categories of best large daily and best page one design. Best of Show seconds were won by photographer Gus Chan and columnist Phillip Morris. Other second place awards for the Plain Dealer were in arts reporting, arts profile, children’s issues, minority issues, political commentary, public service, rock and roll features, sports and web site.
The Akron Beacon Journal won 14 awards, including a Best of Show first place for best special section on bio-innovation. Reporter Phil Trexler won Best of Show second place as best reporter in Ohio. The Beacon Journal also won three firsts in public service, religion and explanatory journalism for its “America Today” project.
Other first place awards for the Beacon Journal were for reporting on consumer issues, criminal justice, environment, human interest, and media criticism. Other Beacon Journal second place awards were for criminal justice, deadline, higher education, media criticism and political reporting.
The Beacon Journal won three awards in the online category, the only Ohio daily to win online this year. The Beacon won both first and second places in best weblog, and second place for the best general news site online.
The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Mark Curnutte won Best of Show first place as best reporter in Ohio, and Cliff Radel won Best of Show first place as best columnist in Ohio. Curnutte also won firsts in the minority issues and social issues reporting and second in human interest writing. Cliff Peale won first in higher education reporting. Alexander Coolidge won second place awards for best business profile and best business reporting.
The Toledo Free Press won Best of Show first place as best weekly newspaper in Ohio, and Best of Show second for best special publication. It also won firsts in best arts profile and best newsmaker profile. Sister publication Toledo Free Press Star (in the fewer than 75,000 circulation category) won Best of Show first in page one design, James Molnar. Molnar also won Best of Show second as best graphic designer in Ohio. Jeff McGinnis won Best of Show first as best columnist and first place for best arts reporting.
The Blade (Toledo) won both awards for best graphic designer in Ohio with the work of Jeffrey Basting (first) and Thomas Fisher (second).
The Associated Press of Ohio, won two seconds, Dan Sewell for K-12 education reporting, and Julie Carr Smyth, for government coverage.
Cox Media Group: Kayla Harrison won second in best sports profile.
SMALL PRINT–Fewer than 75,000 circulation:
The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria) won Best of Show first place as best small daily newspaper in Ohio, and won a total of 18 awards in the under 75,000 circulation category. Chelsea Miller and Andy Young each took second place Best of Show awards, Miller for best reporter and Young for best columnist. Chelsea Miller won three firsts in K-12 education, children’s issues and medical / science, and two seconds for reporting on higher education and environment issues.
Brad Dicken won three first place awards for investigative reporting, and on government and political issues. Lisa Roberson won first place for coverage of minority issues and for a newsmaker profile. Andy Young won first place in political commentary and second in best editorial page campaign. In headline writing, Benjamin Nagy won first place and Kevin Aprile won second place. Evan Goodenow won second place in explanatory journalism.
City Beat (Cincinnati) won two first place and four second place awards. First place awards were for best web site, Danny Cross, and best rock and roll commentary, Mike Breen. City Beat won Best of Show second place awards in the special section and weekly publication categories, City Beat staff. Other second place awards were criminal justice, German Lopez, and investigative reporting, Danny Cross.
Crain’s Cleveland Business won two Best of Show first place awards for best weekly small paper, Mark Dodosh, and best special section, Amy Stoessel. Dodosh also won first place in best editorial page campaign. Other awards included first in business reporting, Michelle Park, first for higher education reporting, Timothy Magaw, and second for business reporting, Chuck Soder.
Crain’s Tire Business: First in human interest writing, William Schertz, and second in government, Miles Moore.
Columbus Business First: Reporter Dan Eaton won two first place awards for consumer reporting and public service, and a second for newsmaker profile. Carrie Ghose won second place awards for medical / science reporting and best business profile. Craig Lovelace won second in public service journalism.
The Medina Gazette: Best of Show second place in best daily newspaper in Ohio. First in deadline reporting, Kiera Manion-Fischer. Four other seconds: Scott Kline, page one design; Nick Glunt, social issues; and Rick Nolan, sports profile and sports reporting.
This Week Community Newspapers: Jarrod Ulrey, two first place awards in sports profile and sports reporting. Jim Fischer, first in rock and roll feature writing, and second in arts reporting. Jennifer Nesbitt, second in K-12 reporting, and Scott Hummell, second, web site.
Great Lakes Publishing/Cleveland Magazine/Ohio Magazine: swept the Best of Show first and second place awards for best monthly publication. Ohio Magazine won first for its November and December issues, and Cleveland Magazine won second for its May and October issues. Cleveland Magazine’s Erick Trickey, won first in criminal justice and second in minority issues; and Rebecca Meiser, took first in arts profile, and Jim Vickers, second, in rock and roll feature writing.
(614) Magazine: Two Best of Show second place awards: Chris Casella, best photographer in Ohio, and Travis Hoewischer, best special publication. David Lewis won second in media criticism.
The Crescent News (Defiance): Lisa Nicely won the Best of Show first place as best reporter in Ohio. She also won first in social issues reporting and second in political reporting.
Columbus C.E.O: Best of Show first place for best special publication, C.E.O. magazine staff, and best business profile, Jennifer Wray.
Columbus Alive: Best of Show first place, G.A. Benton, best critic in Ohio.
Otterbein University: Best of Show first place, Mike Cirelli, best graphic designer in Ohio.
Winning two awards:
- Angie’s List Magazine: Sue Wiltz won first in environment reporting, and second in consumer reporting.
- Columbus Monthly: two seconds: religion reporting, Andrew Welsh-Huggins, and arts profile, Dave Ghose.
- Dayton Jewish Observer: Marshall Weiss won first for religion reporting, and second for human interest reporting
- John Carroll University: John Walsh won two firsts for explanatory journalism and media criticism.
Winning one award: Akron Legal News, second in political commentary, Scott Piepho; and, Times Recorder (Zanesville), second in deadline reporting, Kathy Thompson.
WKSU Radio won 15 awards, including three Best of Show second places for best anchor, Amanda Rabinowitz; best editor, Mark Urycki; and, best news operation, WKSU staff. Rabinowitz also won four firsts in continuing election coverage, enterprise, minority issues, and sports reporting.
Tim Rudell won two firsts in consumer and general assignment reporting. Chuck Poulton won first in web site, and Jeff St. Clair won first in medical / health reporting. Second place awards were in consumer, Kabir Bhatia; documentary, Mark Urycki; general assignment, M.L. Schultze; and, environment, Kevin Niedermier.
Ideastream-WCPN won Best of Show first for best public affairs programs, and Best of Show second for best newscast, Rick Jackson. Reporter Brian Bull, won Best of Show second as best reporter in Ohio, and second in health care features.
Michele Kanu, Karen Schaefer and Anne Glausser won first in environment, and David Barnet won first in feature writing. Kanu and Nick Castile won second in criminal justice, and Kanu won second in spot news. The SOI team won second in minority issues.
WOSU Radio won two Best of Show firsts: Michael Thompson for best news operation, and Sam Hendren as best editor, and a Best of Show second for best public affairs program, All Sides with Ann Fisher. Hendren also won first for best criminal justice reporting. Tom Borgerding won two firsts, for health care feature and spot news. Mandie Trimble won second for investigative reporting.
WVXU Radio won two Best of Show first for best anchor, Maryanne Zeleznik, and best newscast, Jim Nolan. Lee Hay won first in best documentary. WVXU won seconds for continuing coverage and web site, and seconds for medical / health, Ann Thompson, and government, Jay Hanselman.
State Impact Ohio: Ida Lieszkovsky won two first place awards, for K-12 and higher education reporting, and two seconds for enterprise and feature reporting. Reporter Molly Bloom, working with the Columbus Dispatch, won first in investigative reporting.
State House News Bureau: Karen Kasler won Best of Show first place as best reporter in Ohio. Bill Cohen won first for government reporting.
WHIO-TV won 14 awards, including Best of Show first and second for best producer, and Best of Show seconds for best anchor, James Brown, and best editor, Byron Stirsman. Three first place awards were for continuing coverage, John Bedell; criminal justice, Caryn Golden; and feature, James Brown.
Seven second place awards to WHIO include K-12 education and enterprise, James Brown; consumer, Kate Bartley; criminal Justice, Becky Grimes; news operation, David Bennallack; investigative, Jim Otte and Josh Sweigart; web site, Quindelda Mcelroy.
WSYX-TV won five Best of Show awards: four firsts for best reporter, Tom Sussi; best anchor, Bob Kendrick; best editor, Drew Jones, best news operation, Mitch Jacob, who also won Best of Show second for best newscast. Sussi also won three other first place awards for best consumer reporting, best enterprise reporting and best investigative reporting.
WCPO-TV: Tom McKee won three first place awards for government, general assignment and sports reporting, and second place for best continuing coverage. Hagit Limor won first place for best medical / health reporting.
Sinclair Broadcast Group and Ideastream: Kay Colby won first place for minority issues coverage, and second for medical / health reporting. Mike McCarthy won four second place awards, for feature, general assignment, and spot news, and as videographer.
WKYC: WKYC staff won Best of Show first for best newscast, and for K-12 education coverage. Monica Robins, Susan Moses and Randy White won first for health care coverage.
WBNS 10TV: Chuck Strickler won first place in spot news, and Best of Show second as best reporter in Ohio.
Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau: Karen Kasler won Best of Show first for best public affairs program.
WJW-TV: Ali Ghanbari won Best of Show first for best videographer in Ohio.
WEWS: Colleen Seitz won first place for best web site.
WOSU-TV: Mike Thompson won Best of Show second for best public affairs program.
WCPO-TV: Tom McKee won a first place awards for best news story, and three second place awards, for business / tech, feature and sports. Jessica Noll won first place for best photography
Akron Beacon Journal: Akron Beacon Journal staff won Best of Show second for best general news site. Bob Downing won first place and Rick Armon won second in best weblog.
JJHuddle.com: Eric Frantz won two first place awards for editorial writing and sports coverage.
WEWS: Colleen Seitz won Best of Show first for best general news site, and first in feature writing.
Business Courier: Tom Demeropolis won first for best business / tech story.
Ideastream/WCPN: Joseph Sheppa won first for best graphic design /navigation.
Soapbox: Robin Donovan won first for best arts / entertainment story.
State Impact Ohio: Molly Bloom won second for best news story.
www.MusicinCincinnati.com: Mary Hutton won second for best arts / entertainment story.
Restaurant Hospitality Magazine: Three first place awards to Chris Roberto, best cover design; Gail Bellamy, best trade department; and Mike Sanson, best trade web site. Bob Krummert won second in best trade department.
The College Store Magazine: Best of Show second for best trade publication. Monica Dowd won first for best feature design, and Michael von Glahn won first for best trade report.
Farm and Dairy Magazine: Kristy Foster Seachrist won first for personality profile and second for trade report.
Inside Business Magazine: Best of Show first place, best trade publication. Chris Valantasis won second for cover design.
Smart Business Magazine: Michael Feuer won Best of Show first place for best trade columnist in Ohio. Mark Scott won second for best general story.
QSR Magazine: Barney Wolf won first place for best general story.
FSR Restaurant Management: Barney Wolf won second place for best personality profile.
Coin World: Best of Show second place award, best trade columnist in Ohio-Steve Roach.
COLLEGES and UNIVERSITIES:
The Lantern: Ohio State University: The Lantern was named best college daily newspaper in Ohio, and OSU students won three of four $500 scholarships awarded. Scholarship winners were Thomas Bradley, best news writing; Michael Periatt, best opinion writing; and Patrick Brennan, best sports writing. Ally Marotti won second place in news writing.
The Collegian: Ashland University: The Collegian won best college non-daily in Ohio. Chris Bills won second in sports writing.
The Post: Ohio University: Olivia Young won first place and a $500 scholarship in best feature writing. Rebecca McKinsey won second place in opinion writing.
The Miami Student: Miami University: The Miami Student won second place in the non-daily newspaper category. Sarah Shew won second place in feature writing.
ABOUT SPJ: The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire current and future journalists through professional development; and advocates for the protection of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech and press. Nationally, SPJ improves and protects journalism through national and local training, advocacy for freedom of Information, and resources, its Code of Ethics which encourages responsible reporting, a web site filled with career resources – www.spj.org, and a national recognition program for excellence in journalism.