Ohio’s Best Journalism 2014 Winners
(for work done in 2013)
Some 281 awards were chosen from 570 entries submitted in the 2014 Ohio’s Best Journalism Competition, presented collaboratively by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) chapters in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.
The categories include 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 for work done in 2013, and were judged by out-of-state SPJ chapters.
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.
PRINT LARGE (75,000 or greater circulation)
The Columbus Dispatch (37 awards): The Dispatch won more awards than any other news organization in Ohio, with 26 first place awards and 11 second place awards. Judges awarded Best of Show first place to the Dispatch staff as best large daily newspaper in Ohio and best page one design.
Jennifer Smith Richards won two Best of Show first place awards, one for defense of literacy, and another with Bill Bush for defense of the First Amendment. Best of Show firsts also were won by Chris Russell, best photographer, Charlie Zimkus, best graphic designer, and Carrie Wise, best videographer. This is the first year a videography award was included in the print category.
Michael Grossberg won Best of Show second place award for best critic in Ohio and the first place award for best arts reporting. Dan Gearino won two first place awards for best consumer reporting and best business reporting. Jill Riepenhoff, Mark Ferenchik and Mike Wagner won two first place awards for best public records use and best public service journalism. Joe Hallett, retired politics reporter, won two first place awards, one in political commentary and, with Darrel Rowland, first in political reporting.
Also receiving first place awards were: Allison Manning, criminal justice; Barbara Carmen, editorial page campaign; Encarnacion Pyle, higher education; Spencer Hunt, environment; Holly Zachariah, features; Patty Bitler, headlines; Rita Price, minority issues; Michael Arace, newsmaker profile; JoAnn Viviano, religion; Kevin Joy, rock and roll feature; Charlie Boss, sports profile, and Todd Jones, sports.
Dispatch second place awards include; Misti Crane for feature and medical / science reporting, Rita Price for human interest and social issues reporting, Steve Wartenburg for business profile, Kevin Joy for best arts profile, Mark Williams for business reporting, Allison Manning and Ted Decker for deadline reporting, Lucas Sullivan for government reporting and Gary Kiefer for web site.
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (16 awards): Steven Litt won Best of Show first as best critic in Ohio. Plain Dealer staff also won Best of Show second place in best large daily, best special section, and best page one design. Ted Crow won Best of Show second as best graphic designer in Ohio, and Phillip Morris won second as best columnist in Ohio.
First place awards went to staff, deadline reporting; Andrea Simakis, arts profile; Michele Jarboe McFee, business profile; and Rachel Dissell and Leila Atassi, investigative.
Second place awards went to Dissell and Atassi for public records use and public service; Sheryl Harris, consumer; John Caniglia, criminal justice; Brie Zeltner and Lisa Delong, explanatory; and Wendy McManamon, headlines
The Cincinnati Enquirer (9 awards): Winning Best of Show awards as best reporter in Ohio were Mark Curnutte, first place and Dan Horn, second place. Cliff Radel won Best of Show first in best special section.
Curnutte also won first place in medical and science, and social issues, and second in minority issues reporting. Horn also won first in human interest reporting. Jessica Brown won second in K-12 education and children’s issues.
The Akron Beacon Journal (8 awards): Bob Dyer was awarded first place as Best Columnist in Ohio, and Doug Livingston won three first places in K-12 education, children’s issues, and explanatory reporting.
Winning second place awards were Dyer, investigative reporting and political commentary; Michael Douglas, editorial page campaign; and Bob Downing, environment.
ThisWeek Community News (2 awards): Scott Hummel and staff received first place in best web site, and Jim Fischer won second in arts reporting.
Heather Beyer (1 award): Freelance writer won second place for best newsmaker profile.
Associated Press (1 award): Julie Carr Smyth won first place in best government reporting.
The Toledo Free Press (1 award): Sarah Ottney won second place in best newsmaker profile.
PRINT SMALL (Fewer than 75,000 circulation)
The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria) (15 awards): Best of Show first place for best daily newspaper. Kristin Bauer won Best of Show first place as best photographer in Ohio. Lisa Roberson won Best of Show second place in best reporter in Ohio.
Chelsea Miller won five awards: first place in children’s issues and public service reporting, and second place in consumer, environment and political reporting. Staff won first place in deadline reporting.
Brad Dicken won first place in government reporting for “Rural Water Secrecy,” and second in higher education reporting. Chronicle staff won second place in deadline reporting. Andy Young won first place in both editorial page campaign and political commentary. Evan Goodenow won first in best consumer reporting.
Medina Gazette (11 awards): Medina Gazette won second place in Best of Show best daily newspaper. David Knox, Loren Genson and Nick Glunt won first place in K-12 education and investigative reporting, for “School District in Crisis”. Knox, Genson and Kiera Manion-Fischer won first in social issues reporting and second in public service journalism for “Anatomy of a Teen Suicide”.
Manion-Fisher won first place in minority issues reporting. Scott Kline won first in best headline writing.
Genson and Glunt won second in children’s issues and medical and science reporting for “Amish battle hospital”. Genson won second in government reporting, and Glunt won second in criminal justice.
Cleveland Magazine (11 awards): Best of Show first place awards were won by Erick Trickey, best reporter, and Kristen Miller, best graphic designer. Cleveland Magazine won Best of Show second as best monthly.
Erick Trickey won first place in criminal justice and human interest reporting, and second in arts profile. Rebecca Meiser won first in best arts profile.
Jim Vickers won first in medical and science reporting. Pat McManamon won second in sports profile, and Cleveland Magazine staff won second in feature and sports reporting
Cincinnati Business Courier (8 awards): Best of Show first place as best weekly newspaper. Kevin Cox won Best of Show second for page one design.
Chris Wetterich won first place for explanatory and political reporting, and second for political commentary. Barrett J. Brunsman won first for public records use and second for investigative reporting. Tom Demeropolis won second for explanatory journalism.
Columbus Alive (5 awards): G.A. Benton won first and Brad Keefe won second in the Best of Show category for best critic in Ohio. Keefe also won first in best web site design.
Justin McIntosh won second in arts reporting and Andy Downing won second in rock and roll feature writing.
Capital Style (4 awards): Kristy Eckert won first place in best business profile and feature reporting, and second in human interest. Heather Weekley won second in business profiles.
Cleveland Jewish News (4 awards) Best of Show first for best special section goes to Bob Jacob, Michael C. Butz and Carlo Wolff. Regina Brett won Best of Show first as best columnist in Ohio. Bob Jacob won second for best headline writing. Rick Perloff won second place for Best Religion writing, for a series on Orthodox Judaism.
Columbus Monthly Magazine (4 awards): Carrie Sosnowski won Best of Show first place for best page one design, and second place for best graphic designer. Tessa Berg won Best of Show second for best photographer, and Beth Stallings won first place for sports profile.
ThisWeek Community News (4 awards): Brett Nuckles and Dennis Laycock won Best of Show first place best defense of the first amendment. Don Delco won Best of Show second for best special section. Jim Fischer won first for rock and roll features, and Jarrod Ulrey won first for best sports reporting.
Crain’s Cleveland Business (3 awards): Timothy Magaw won first for best higher education reporting. Michelle Park Lazette won second for business reporting and Mark Dodosh won second for best editorial page campaign.
Columbus Business First (3 awards): Best of Show second place in best weekly newspaper. Jeff Bell won first place in environmental reporting, and Brian Ball won second place in best K-12 education reporting.
The Press Newspapers (3 awards): John Szozda won second place in the best columnist category, and in social issues reporting. Kelly Kaczala won second in public records use
614 Magazine (2 awards): 614 Magazine staff won two Best of Show first place awards for best monthly publication, and best special publication.
Columbus CEO (2 awards): Kitty McConnell won first for best business reporting. Todd Hoffman won second place for best web site.
Cincinnati Magazine (1 award): Jenny Wohlfarth won first place for newsmaker profile.
Crave Magazine (1 award): Crave staff won second place for best special publication.
Dayton Jewish Observer (1 award): Marshall Weiss won first place for best religion reporting.
Jackie Mantey (1 award): Freelancer won first place in best arts reporting.
John Carroll Magazine (1 award): John Walsh won second in newsmaker profile for “Jesuit shapes lawyer’s life.”
WKSU Radio (13 awards): Kabir Bhatia won Best of Show first place as best reporter in Ohio. Best of Show second places were won by Amanda Rabinowitz, best anchor, and the WKSU staff for best news operation.
Tim Rudell won first place awards for continuing coverage and for general assignment reporting. Jeff St. Clair won first for medical / health reporting and second for environment reporting. M.L. Schultze won first for spot news and second for feature reporting.
Second place awards were won by Bhatia, consumer; Kevin Niedermier, general assignment; Chuck Poulton, web site, and Rabinowitz, minority issues.
WOSU Radio (10 awards): First place Best of Show best news operation. First place Best of Show best public affairs program, Ann Fisher, “All Sides with Ann Fisher”. Second place Best of Show, best reporter, Tom Borgerding. Borgerding also won first place awards in consumer and enterprise reporting.
Mandie Trimble won first place in minority issues and higher education reporting, and second place in health care features and medical/ health reporting. The WOSU news team won second place in continuing coverage.
Ideastream (5 awards): Second place in Best of Show public affairs program. The StateImpact Ohio team won first for K-12 education coverage and second for enterprise reporting. Michelle Kanu won first in environment reporting, and the WCPN staff won first for criminal justice reporting,
WVXU Radio (4 awards): Maryanne Zeleznik won Best of Show first place for best anchor. The WVXU News team won first place for best newscast, best government reporting and best web site.
WYSO (4 awards): Emily McCord won Best of Show, second place for best newscast. Lewis Wallace won first in feature reporting, health care feature, and second in best spot news.
State House News Bureau: (1 award): Bill Cohen and Jo Ingles won second place for government reporting.
WMKV (1 award): First place Best of Show best producer, Mike Martini.
WHIO-TV (11 awards): Becky Grimes and Byron Stirsman won Best of Show first for best producers. Grimes also won second for best producer. Jim Otte won Best of Show first for best reporter. Cheryl McHenry won Best of Show second place for best anchor, and Quincy Wallace and John Paul won Best for Show second for best newscast. Jim Otte and Josh Sweigert won second for investigative reporting.
James Brown won two first place awards, one for best documentary and one with Byron Stirsman for best enterprise reporting. James won second for best feature reporting.
Kate Bartley won first for best health care feature, and Quindela McElroy won second for best web site.
WSYX-TV (9 awards): WSYX-TV won three Best of Show first place awards: Bob Kendrick, best anchor; Drew Jones, best editor; and Mitch Jacob, best news operation. Jacob also won second for best spot news.
Robert Bradford won four second place awards, for best editor, best videographer, best continuing coverage and best enterprise reporting. Brooks Jarosz won second place in the best reporter category.
WBNS 10TV: (9 awards): Aly Boucher won Best of Show first place for best newscast, and Jim Heath and Tracy Townsend won Best of Show first place for best public affairs program.
Elbert Tucker won Best of Show second place for best news operation. WBNS staff also won first place for continuing coverage, and spot news. Paul Aker, Tanisha Mallett and Karen Salajko won first place for Best K-12 education coverage.
Glen McEntyre and Andy Wallace won first for criminal justice reporting, and Kurt Ludlow won second place for consumer reporting and government reporting.
WEWS: (4 Awards): Ron Regan, Mel Watson and Rob Gardner won first place for investigative reporting, and second place for criminal justice and documentary coverage. Colleen Seitz won first for best web site.
WCPO-TV: (3 awards): Tom McKee won first place in government reporting, and medical / health, and second place in sports reporting.
WJW-TV: (2 awards): Ali Ghanbari won Best of Show first for best videographer in Ohio, and first for best feature reporting.
WLWT (1 award): Courtis Fuller won Best of Show second place for best public affairs program.
WOIO (1 award): Chris Van Vliet and Ed Louloudis won first for best sports reporting.
WXIX (1 award): Hagit Limor and Dan Wood won first place for best consumer reporting.
WCPO (7 awards): Kareem Elgazzar won Best of Show second as best online still photographer. Elgazzar also won both first and second place awards in the best feature category and the best photography category.
Tom McKee won second places in best news story, and in medical and science reporting.
The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria) (2 awards): Karie Spaetzel won Best of Show first place for best general news site. Kristin Bauer won Best of Show first as best online still photographer.
Columbus Business First (2 awards): Carrie Ghose won first place for best business/tech story and also for best medical / science story.
Ideastream (2 awards): Joseph Sheppa won Best of Show second for best general news site, and second for best graphic design and navigation.
JJHuddle.com: (2 awards): Eric Frantz won first place for best editorial writing and also for best sports coverage.
Columbus Dispatch (1 award): Steve Wartenberg won the first place award in online Best Weblog, “Best Bike Blog”.
Ohio Magazine (1 award): Lesley Blake won first place for best graphic design and navigation.
WEWS TV (1 award): Colleen Seitz won first place for best news story.
Rubber and Plastic News (4 awards): Bruce Meyer and staff won Best of Show second place for best trade publication. Don Detore, Bruce Meyer and Chris Sweeney won first for best trade web site. Miles Moore won first for best trade report, “Guayule vs. Dandelion,” and Chris Sweeney won second for best personality profile.
The College Store Magazine (3 awards): Michael von Glahn won first place for best trade department. Monica Doud won first for best feature design and second for best cover design.
Coin World (2 awards) Editor Steve Roach and staff of Coin World won Best of Show first place for best trade publication in Ohio. Roach also won Best of Show second place for best trade columnist.
Inside Business Magazine (2 awards): Erick Trickey won first for best general story, and Chris Valantasis won first for best cover design.
Smart Business Magazine (2 awards): Michael Feuer won Best of Show first place as best trade columnist. Gregory Jones won first place for best personality profile.
Farm and Dairy Magazine (1 award): Chris Kick won second place for best trade report.
Barney Wolf (1 award): Freelancer Barney Wolf won second place for best general story.
COLLEGES and UNIVERSITIES:
Ohio State University (7 awards): The Lantern and its staff won 7 awards, including all four $500 scholarships for writing. Winning first place awards and $500 scholarships are Kristen Mitchell, features; Liz Young, news; Danielle Seamon, opinion; and Patrick Maks, sports.
The Lantern placed second among college daily newspapers. Winning second place awards were Dan Hope, sports, and Liz Young, news.
Kent State University (1 award): The Daily Kent Stater won first place among college daily newspapers.
University of Toledo (2 awards): The Independent Collegian was selected as best college nondaily newspaper, and Amanda Eggert won second place in feature writing.
Xavier University (1 award): Andrew Koch won second place for opinion writing published in The Xavier Newswire.
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.