Ohio SPJ Awards – 2018

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2018 Ohio SPJ Awards winners

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest, sponsored by the Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) chapters statewide, announced its 2018 awards. There were 308 awards announced out of 645 entries submitted.

The categories include large circulation print (75,000 or greater), small circulation print (fewer than 75,000), radio, television, digital media, trade organizations, freelance and college. Click here for a full list of categories.

Best of Show distinctions are awarded in all categories except college. Entries were for work done in 2017. Journalists from The Top of the Rockies awards contest (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming) served as judges.

Save the date for a luncheon celebration to honor the winners, which will be held Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, at noon in Cincinnati with a riverboat cruise luncheon on the Ohio River. Registration is available on Eventbrite.

Journalists, who work for newspaper, magazines, radio, television, trade, online and college media in Ohio and adjacent states that have significant reach into Ohio were eligible to submit entries, as well as freelance journalists, who are Ohio residents, regardless of where their work is published, broadcast or webcast. Entrants did not need to be members of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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.

Top print winners were The Columbus Dispatch with 33 awards; The Cincinnati Enquirer with 20 awards; The Akron Beacon Journal with 17 awards; The Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com with 10 awards; Crain’s Cleveland Business with 10 awards; and Columbus Alive with 10 awards. Top broadcast winners were WKSU Radio with 13 awards; WVXU 91.7 Radio with 12 awards; WCPN Radio with eight awards; WBNS-TV with eight awards; WOSU with seven awards; and WVIZ/PBS ideastream with seven awards.

In the Large Circulation Print (75,000 or greater), Best of Show category, top winners included:

  • Best Page One Design, First Place, Alan Miller, The Columbus Dispatch
  • Best Columnist in Ohio, First Place, Theodore Decker, The Columbus Dispatch
  • Best Reporter in Ohio, First Place, Amanda Garrett, The Akron Beacon Journal
  • Best Photographer in Ohio, First Place, Kyle Robertson, The Columbus Dispatch
  • Best Daily Newspaper, First Place, The Columbus Dispatch

In the Small Circulation Print (Fewer than 75,000), Best of Show category, top winners included:

  • Best Photographer, First Place, Tim Johnson, Columbus Monthly
  • Best Weekly Newspaper, First Place, Cincinnati Business Courier
  • Best Reporter in Ohio, First Place, Sheehan Hannan, Cleveland Magazine
  • Best Columnist, First Place, Regina Brett, Cleveland Jewish News
  • Best Monthly, First Place, Cleveland Magazine
  • Best Special Publication, First Place, 614 Magazine

In the Trade Publications, Best of Show category, winners included:

  • Best Trade Publication, First Place, The College Store
  • Best Trade Columnist, First Place, Susan Crowell, Farm and Dairy

In the Television, Best of Show category, winners included:

  • Best Anchor, Rick Jackson, WVIZ/PBS ideastream
  • Best Reporter, First Place, Duane Pohlman, WKRC-TV
  • Best Newscast, First Place, WCMH NBC4

In the Radio, Best of Show category, winners included:

  • Best Reporter, First Place, M.L. Schultze, WKSU
  • Best Anchor, First Place, Amanda Rabinowitz, WKSU

In the Digital Media, Best of Show category, winners included:

  • Best General News Site, First Place, ideastream
  • Best Online Still Photographer in Ohio, First Place, Matt Ellis, ColumbusUnderground.com

In the Freelance, Best of Show, categories, winners included:

  • Large Circulation Print (+75,000), Best Freelance Writer, Ginny McCabe
  • Digital Media, Best Freelance Writer, Jeff Regensburger, ColumbusUnderground.com

In the College category, winners included:

  • Best College Non-Daily Newspaper, The Lantern, The Ohio State University
  • Best College Opinion Writing, Lucas Misera, The Kent Stater

Click here to view the full list of award winners. 


Competition Call for Entries 2018

Honoring the Best of Ohio’s Print, Broadcasting, Digital Media, Freelance, Trade and College Journalism

Ohio’s Best Journalism contest is accepting submissions for 2018. Based upon great success last year, we will once again use the software program OpenWater to manage our contest. According to you and our judges, the portal provides an efficient and intuitive experience. View the “Rules” and “Help” tabs in the header of the contest home page for complete directions and explanations to help you submit entries. If you have any questions, please contact us via email at contact@ohiospjawards.org.

The deadline for entries is midnight March 30, 2018

Please take note of the following highlights when submitting entries:

  • If you’re a returning applicant from our 2017 contest, you can use your 2017 account for this year’s contest.
  • There is a field asking whose name(s) should appear on any award, as well as the name of the media outlet, should your entry receive an award. Thank you for paying close attention to this field and entering the information correctly. This will help avoid any errors when awards are created.
  • Please be sure to submit your entry in the correct category. Large print categories are reserved for publications with circulation of 75,000 and higher; small print categories are reserved for publications with circulation of less than 75,000.

Our annual statewide contest is presented collaboratively by the Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland Pro Chapters of The Society of Professional Journalists and honors print, broadcast, digital, trade, freelance and college journalists in Ohio for their best work during 2017. Our contest 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. Our contest also recognizes the best college daily and weekly newspapers.


ELIGIBILITY: Journalists are eligible who work for newspaper, magazine, radio, television, trade, digital and college media in Ohio and adjacent states that have significant reach into Ohio. Freelance journalists, who are Ohio residents, are eligible, regardless of where their work is published, broadcast or webcast. We recently added numerous freelance categories in response to the growing number of freelance journalists. Click here for Freelance categories. Newsletter and blog submissions also are welcome. Entrants need not be members of the Society of Professional Journalists. Submitted work must have been published or broadcast in 2017.

FEES: A $30 entry fee must accompany each submission, except college entries. College students pay a $10 entry fee for writing of news, feature, sports and opinion. College newspapers may enter the best college daily and weekly newspaper categories for free. There is a $5 discount per entry for work by SPJ members. You may submit any given article in as many relevant categories as you wish. Not an SPJ member? Join here and save.

SPREAD THE WORD: Please share this message to anyone you think would like to participate in Ohio’s Best Journalism contest! OpenWater makes it easy to share the contest site with your colleagues and friends. Look for the social media icons (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) on the left side of the contest site landing page.

QUESTIONS: For additional information, please visit our website – www.ohiospjawards.org – or contact:

Sarah Mills Bacha
614.563.1066
contact@ohiospjawards.org