Ohio SPJ Awards – 2015

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Winners in the 2015 Ohio SPJ Awards competition were announced Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. The contest, recognizing work from the 2014 calendar year, is presented by the Society of Professional Journalists Central Ohio, Cincinnati and Cleveland pro chapter. The 2015 Ohio SPJ Awards luncheon to honor the winners will be hosted by the Cincinnati chapter Saturday, Oct. 24; Details to follow.

Ohio’s Best Journalism 2015 Winners Highlights

2015 Final Winners List   (for work done in 2014)

Some 268 awards were chosen from 611 entries submitted in the 2015 Ohio’s Best Journalism Competition, presented collaboratively by the Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

The categories include large circulation print (75,000 or greater), small circulation print (fewer than 75,000), radio, television, online, trade organizations, and college. Best of Show distinctions are awarded in all categories except college. $2,000 in scholarships are awarded in the college division.  Entries were for work done in 2014. Judging was done by SPJ chapters throughout Florida.

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.

LARGE CIRCULATION PRINT (75,000 or greater)

The Columbus Dispatch (39 awards): The Dispatch won more awards in the large circulation print category than any other news organization in Ohio, with 9 Best of Show first place awards, two Best of Show second place awards, 19 other first place awards and 9 other second place awards.

Judges awarded Best of Show first place awards to: Misti Crane, best reporter in Ohio; Chris Russell, best photographer in Ohio; Joe Blundo, best columnist in Ohio; Carrie Wise, best videographer in Ohio; Charlie Zimkus, best graphic designer in Ohio; Michael Grossberg, best critic in Ohio; Mike Wagner, best defense of the First Amendment; Jennifer Smith Richards, best defense of literacy; and Dispatch staff, best special section. Best of Show second place awards were awarded to the Dispatch for best daily newspaper and best page one design.

Misti Crane also won three first place awards for best medical and science reporting, best explanatory journalism, and best social issues reporting. Collin Binkley won two first place awards for best newsmaker profile and best higher education reporting. Lucas Sullivan won two first place awards for best public service journalism and best investigative reporting.

Other Dispatch staff winning first place awards include Mark Williams, best business reporting; Theodore Decker, best criminal justice reporting; Mark Ferenchik, best environmental reporting; Lori Kurtzman, best feature reporting; Jim Siegel and Cathy Candisky, best government reporting; Andrew Sterling, best headline writing; Darrel Rowland and Jim Siegel, best political reporting; Mike Wagner, best public records use; JoAnne Viviano, best religion reporting; Kevin Joy, best rock & roll feature writing; Todd Jones, best sports profile, and Dispatch.com staff for best web site.

Dispatch second place awards include Michael Grossberg, best arts reporting and best arts profile; Dan Gearino, best business reporting; Collin Binkley, best deadline reporting; Jennifer Smith Richards, best K-12 education reporting; Laura Arenschield, best human interest reporting; Alan Johnson, best medical and science reporting; Encarnacion Pyle, best minority issues reporting; and Rita Price, best social issues reporting.

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (12 awards): The Plain Dealer won two Best of Show first place awards for best daily newspaper in Ohio, staff; and also for best page one design, David Kordalski and Josh Crutchmer. The Plain Dealer also won Best of Show second place awards for best columnist, Phil Morris; best graphic designer, Andrea Levy; and best photographer, Gus Chan.

First place awards went to Andrea Simakis, best arts profile; Zachary Lewis, best arts reporting; Lynn Ischay, best children’s issues reporting, and Tim Warsinskey, best sports reporting. Second place awards went to Michellle Jarboe McFee, best business profile; John Funk, best environment reporting; and Mary Ann Whitley, best headline writing.

The Cincinnati Enquirer (7 awards): Winning Best of Show second place awards were Sharon Coolidge, best reporter, and Janelle Gelfand, best critic.

Alexander Coolidge won first place for best business profile, and second place for best newsmaker profile. Other first place awards were Ally Marotti, best human interest reporting; and Mark Curnutte, best minority issues reporting. Michael Nyerges won second place for best videographer.

The Akron Beacon Journal (5 awards): Doug Livingston won first place for best K-12 education reporting. First place for best deadline reporting was won by Betty Lin-Fisher, Phil Trexler, and Rick Armon. Second place awards were won by Heather Beyer, best feature writing; Bob Dyer, best investigative reporting, and Carol Biliczky, best public records use.

ThisWeek Community News (4 awards): ThisWeek Community News received four second place awards: Jim Fischer, best rock and roll feature writing; and This Week staff for best explanatory journalism, best public service journalism, and best web site.

Associated Press (2 awards): The Ohio bureau staff won second place in best government reporting. Andrew Welsh-Huggins won second place for best criminal justice reporting.

Cleveland Jewish News (1 award): Cleveland Jewish News staff won Best of Show second place for best special section.

 SMALL CIRCULATION PRINT (Fewer than 75,000)

The Chronicle-Telegram (Lorain County) (15 awards): The Chronicle-Telegram won Best of Show first place for best daily newspaper in Ohio. Andy Young won Best of Show first place as best columnist in Ohio. Andy Young also won first place for best editorial page campaign, and second place for best political commentary.

Lisa Roberson won three first place awards, for best deadline reporting, best political reporting and best social issues reporting. She also won second place for best government reporting.

Brad Dicken won both first and second place for best investigative reporting. Dicken also won two other second place awards, for best criminal justice reporting and best political reporting.

Evan Goodenow won first in best children’s issues reporting, Anna Merriman won second place in minority issues reporting, and Scott Petrak won second place in best sports profile.

Cleveland Magazine (9 awards): Cleveland Magazine was selected for the Best of Show first place award as best monthly publication in Ohio. Laura Adiletta won Best of Show second as best critic.

Erick Trickey won first place for best political commentary. James Bigley II and Jillian Kramer best public service journalism, and second place for best social issues reporting. Other first place awards were won by staff, best feature reporting; Connie Schultz, best human interest writing; Jillian Kramer, best medical / science reporting; and Sheehan Hannan, best sports profile.

Dan Eaton won first place for best business reporting and second place for best consumer reporting. Tom Knox won second for best environment reporting.

The Gazette (Medina County) (8 awards): The Gazette received Best of Show second place for best daily newspaper in Ohio. Nick Glunt received Best of Show first place as best reporter in Ohio. Glunt also won first place in best criminal justice reporting and, with Loren Genson and Katie Anderson, best government reporting,

Albert Grindle won first place in best sports reporting, and David Knox won two second place awards for best explanatory journalism and, with Lauren Genson and Nick Glunt, best deadline reporting. Scott Kline won second place for best headline writing.

Columbus Business First (7 awards): John Lauer was selected second for the Best of Show best page one design. Carrie Ghose won two first awards for best arts profile and best consumer reporting. She also won second for best public service journalism.

Columbus Monthly Magazine (7 awards): Columbus Monthly received four Best of Show second place awards. They include best monthly publication, staff; Carrie Sosnowski, best graphic designer; Michelle Sullivan, best reporter in Ohio; and Jenny Rogers and Kathryn Landis, best special section.

Eric Edwards and Taylor Starek won first place for best web site. Second place awards were won by Emily Thompson, best arts profile, and Michelle Sullivan, best medical / science reporting.

Columbus CEO (5 awards): Yogesh Chaudhary won Best of Show first place as best graphic designer on Ohio. Mary Yost, Tim Johnson, freelancer T.C. Brown and Chaudhary won Best of Show first place for best special section. Johnson won Best of Show second place as best photographer. Kitty McConnell won first place for best business profile. Yost won first place for best explanatory journalism.

Toledo Free Press (5 awards): Toledo Free Press was selected for Best of Show first place best weekly newspaper in Ohio. Sarah Ottney won first place for best newsmaker profile, and second place for best children’s issues reporting. Jeff McGinnis won first for best arts reporting, and Danielle Stanton and Sarah Ottney won first for best environment reporting.

614 Magazine (4 awards): 614 Magazine staff received two Best of Show first place awards for best special publication and best page one design. Christopher Casella won Best of Show first place as best photographer in Ohio. Chris Gaitten won second place for best human interest writing.

Cleveland Jewish News (4 awards): Bob Abelman won Best of Show first place as best critic in Ohio, and Regina Brett won Best of Show second as best columnist in Ohio. Bob Jacob won first place for best headline writing, and Jacqueline Mitchell won second for best religion reporting.

Capital Style (2 awards): Heather Weekley won second place for best business profile, and Holly Zachariah won second for best newsmaker profile.

Cincinnati Business Courier (2 awards): Chris Wetterich won first place in best media criticism. Erin Caproni won second place for best web site.

Columbus Alive (2 awards): Andy Downing won first for best rock and roll feature writing, and Jesse Tigges won second for best arts reporting.

Crain’s Cleveland Business (2 awards): Crain’s Cleveland Business received the Best of Show second place as the best weekly newspaper in Ohio. Chuck Soder won second place for best business reporting.

Crave Magazine (2 awards): Beth Stallings won two second place awards for best feature reporting and best special publication.

John Carroll University (1 award): John Walsh won first place for best religion reporting.

Sandusky Register (1 award): Mark Hazelwood won second place for best sports reporting.

The Cincinnati Herald (1 award): Dan Yount won first place for best minority issues reporting.

RADIO:                       

WKSU Radio (12 awards): Tim Rudell won Best of Show first place for best radio reporter in Ohio. Rudell also won first place for best environment reporting, and second place for best spot news reporting. Amanda Rabinowitz won two first place awards for best enterprise reporting and best sports reporting.

Jeff St. Clair won first place for best medical / science reporting, and second place for best minority issues reporting. Kevin Niedermier won first place for best consumer reporting, and second place for best general assignment reporting. Kabir Bhatia won first place for best general assignment reporting. WKSU staff won second place for best criminal justice reporting. Chuck Poulton won second place for best web site.

WOSU Radio (10 awards): Sam Hendren won Best of Show first place as best editor. The WOSU news team won first place for best web site. Steve Brown won Best of Show second place for best anchor, and Best of Show second place for best newscast.

Mandie Trimble won two first place awards for best investigative reporting and best minority issues reporting, and second place for best reporter. Tom Borgerding won two first place awards for best K-12 education reporting and best government reporting, and second place for best enterprise reporting.

WVXU Radio (9 awards): Maryanne Zeleznik won Best of Show first place as best anchor in Ohio. WVXU news staff won Best of Show first place for best newscast, and Best of Show second for best news operation. Lee Hay won Best of Show first place as best producer in Ohio, and Mark Heyne and Pete Rightmire won Best of Show first place for best public affairs program.

Ann Thompson and Tana Weingartner won first place for best continuing coverage. Thompson won two second place awards for best environment reporting and best medical / science reporting. Weingartner also won first place in best spot news.

Ideastream (7 awards): WCPN 90.3, Ideastream, won Best of Show first place for best news operation, and Best of Show second place for best public affairs program. Ideastream staff won first place for best criminal justice reporting and second place for best continuing coverage.

Ideastream’s StateImpact Ohio staff won first place for best higher education reporting, and second place for best K-12 education reporting. Joanna Richards won first place for best feature reporting.

State House News Bureau: (2 awards): Karen Kasler won two second place awards for best feature reporting and best government reporting.

TELEVISION:

WHIO-TV (13 awards): Becky Grimes and Byron Stirsman won both Best of Show first and second place awards for best producer. Stirsman also won Best of Show first place award as best videographer. John Paul won Best of Show first place for best anchor, Quincy Wallace won Best of Show first place award for best newscast, and Dee Moorman won Best of Show first place for best editor.

Mike Hartsock won first place for best sports reporting, and Sean Dunster won first place for best spot news. Dunster and staff also won second place for best continuing coverage. Other second place awards were won by James Brown, Cheryl McHenry, and John Paul, best documentary; John Bedell, Mike Burianek and Dee Moorman, best feature reporting; Q. McElroy, best web site, and Jim Otte and Josh Sweigart, best investigative reporting.

WSYX-TV (5 awards): Tom Sussi won Best of Show second place for best reporter. Bob Kendrick won Best of Show second place for best anchor.

Sussi, with Matt Spurrier and Drew Jones, also won first place in best consumer reporting, and, with Drew Jones, Sussi won second place in best enterprise reporting.   Brooks Jarosz won first place for best enterprise reporting.

WCPO-TV: (5 awards): Tom McKee won both first and second place awards for best government reporting. He also won first and second place for best general assignment reporting, and first place for best criminal justice reporting

WXIX-TV (3 awards): Hagit Limor won first place for best investigative reporting, and second place, with Dan Wood, for best consumer reporting. Jason Scott and Amy Wagner won first place for best continuing coverage.

WDTN-TV (2 awards) Jordan Burgess won Best of Show first place for best television reporter in Ohio, and, with Kris Sproles, he also won first place for best feature reporting.

WVIZ/PBS ideastream: (2 awards): Mark Smukler, first place in best documentary. Anne Glausser and Kay Colby, first place in best medical/ health reporting.

WOSU: (1 award): Mike Thompson and Diana Bergemann won first place for best public affairs program.

WEWS: (1 award): Colleen Seitz won first place for best television news web site.

StateHouse News Bureau: (1 award): Karen Kasler and Ron Corby, Best of Show second place for best public affairs reporting

ONLINE:

WCPO.com (3 awards): Jessica Noll won Best of Show first place for Best of Show best online still photographer in Ohio. Noll also won first for best online feature story, and second for best online photography.

The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria) (3 awards): Kristin Bauer won Best of Show second place as best online still photographer. Bauer also won first place as best online photographer in Ohio. Karie Spaetzel, with Anna Merriman and Kristin Bauer, won second place in best feature writing.

WEWS TV (3 awards): Colleen Seitz and staff won Best of Show first place for best general news site. Seitz also won both first place and second place in best online news story.

Dayton Business Journal: (3 awards): Second place awards were won by Olivia Barrow, best arts/entertainment story; Joe Coligiano, best business tech story; and Tristan Navera, best weblog.

The Cincinnati Enquirer: (2 awards): Michael Nyerges won both first and second place awards as best online videographer.

Cincinnati Business Courier: (2 awards): Erin Caproni and staff won Best of Show second place best general news site. Caproni and staff also won first place for best weblog.

 Farm and Dairy: (2 awards) Brian Lisik and Katie Woods won first place for best arts/entertainment story, and Chris Kick and Jordan Roberts won first place in best business/tech story.

Ideastream (1 award): Joseph Sheppa won first place for best graphic design / navigation.

Kathiann Kowalski (1 award): Freelancer Kathiann Kowalski won first place for best medical / science story, published in Science News for Students.

TRADE PUBLICATIONS:

The College Store Magazine (4 awards): Michael von Glahn won Best of Show first place for best trade columnist, and second place for best general story. Dan Angelo won first place for best general story, and Monica Doud won second place for best cover design.

Smart Business (3 awards): Mary Adomaitis and Jim Mericsko won first place and Jayne Gest won second place in best trade department. Mericsko also won second place in best feature design.

Rubber and Plastic News (2 awards): Don Detore and Chris Sweeney and Bruce Meyer won first place for best trade publication web site. Miles Moore won second place for best personality profile.

Farm and Dairy (2 awards): Susan Crowell won Best of Show second place in best trade columnist. Chris Kick won first place in best trade report.

Inside Business Magazine (2 awards): Inside Business Magazine won Best of Show first place in best trade publication in Ohio. Sheehan Hannan won first place in best personality profile.

Cleveland Jewish News (2 awards): Jon Larson won first place in best cover design, and Rob Ghosh won first place in best feature design.

Coin World (1 award): Coin World won Best of Show second place in best trade publication.

Barney Wolf (1 award): Freelancer Barney Wolf won second place for best trade report, published in FSR Magazine.

COLLEGES and UNIVERSITIES:

Ohio State University (5 awards): The Lantern won first place in best non-daily newspaper category.

Liz Young won first place and a $500 scholarship in best college newswriting. Tim Moody won first place and a $500 scholarship in best college sports writing. James Grega won second place in best college sports writing. Kristen Mitchell won second place in best college news writing.

Kent State University (2 awards): The Daily Kent Stater won first place among college daily newspapers. Daniel Moore won first place and a $500 scholarship for best college opinion writing.

The Xavier Newswire: (2 awards): Hollis Conners won second place in best college feature writing. Andrew Koch won second place in best college opinion writing.

Independent Collegian: (1 award): Amanda Pitrof won first place and a $500 scholarship for best college feature writing.

Cleveland State University (1 award): The Cauldron won second place in the best college non-daily newspaper.

 

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.

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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION about the Ohio SPJ Awards, please visit our website – ohiospjawards.org – or contact contest coordinator Sarah Mills Bacha at 614-563-1066 or contact@ohiospjawards.org.

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