68th Founders’ Day: Celebrating Central Ohio’s best journalism

Cappa, Lease, Revish and Yost honored; $7,500 in scholarships awarded

The Central Ohio Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist celebrated its 68th Founders’ Day banquet Thursday evening, April 6, awarding $7,500 in scholarships, issuing chapter awards to recognize outstanding local journalism and installing new officers and board of directors members.

The event, held at the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Upper Arlington, recognizes the founding of the chapter in 1949. Today, membership includes about 75 members working in all phases of journalism. Close to 60 people attended the event.

Dr. Paul Kostyu, a journalism professor at Ohio Wesleyan University and longtime Ohio journalist, addressed the meeting, discussing his actions during the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport in January. On that day, Kostyu sprang into action to feed national news outlets with briefs and photos.

Chapter Awards granted

First Amendment Award: Ohio Auditor Dave Yost for conducting more than 4,000 performance audits and other special audits of public entities annually.

Distinguished Service Award: Doug Buchanan, managing editor of Columbus Business First, where he has worked for 19 years, for his service to the chapter as the outgoing president.

Appreciation Awards: (1) Dominic Cappa, retiring editor in chief of Columbus Business First, after a 19-year career at the helm of the daily business journal. (2) Carol Ann Lease, retired city editor of The Columbus Dispatch, after a distinguished career leading local news coverage for the city’s metropolitan daily newspaper.

Brick Wall Awards: (1) The Ohio State University, for its lack of transparency in public records, as reported by The Columbus Dispatch. An OSU spokesman maintains that the Dispatch’s reporting on its performance with public records “contained multiple falsehoods” and that the Brick Wall Award “endorses inaccurate reporting.”  (2)  U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, each received a brick for their lack of attendance at public hearings on federal health-care legislation. Representatives for both Portman and Tiberi strongly objected to the suggestion that they were not accessible to their constituents, pointing to many events they had hosted and attended, both in person and by phone, where concerned citizens could express their concerns about health care.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Jerry Revish, news anchor for WBNS-TV, received the chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award for more than four decades of central Ohio journalism in radio and television. Revish joined the team of WBNS-TV in 1980, where his reporting skills have taken him around the world.  Among his reporting honors: 11 Emmy awards, two Edward R. Murrow awards and the Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Student Scholarships awarded

Each year at Founders Day, the Central Ohio Pro Chapter awards four scholarships to promising journalism students. This year alone, $7,500 in scholarships were awarded. The chapter has awarded scholarships worth more than $70,000 to nearly 80 journalism students since the program began.

  • The Jacob A. Meckstroth Scholarship for Ohio State University students is $2,000, named in memory of  Meckstroth (1887-1985), a member of OSU’s first journalism class, a founding member of the chapter and an active journalist for nearly half a century. This year’s winner is Kelly Rudolph, a junior in the School of Communications. She is president and a former treasurer of OSU’s student SPJ Chapter and is credited for recruiting an adviser and new members and programs.
  • The Norman H. Dohn Scholarship is $2,000, open to Ohio University students who are SPJ members and named in memory of Dohn (1920-1997), a founding member of the chapter as well as a longtime Columbus journalist, OU professor of journalism and SPJ board member. This year’s winner is Anthony Heim, a second-year student in the news and information track at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.  Heim is program committee chairman of OU’s SPJ student chapter, a freelancer for Time Inc., intern for All In Sports Talk and a past volunteer videographer and on-camera personality for WOUB.
  • The James W. Faulkner Scholarship is named in memory of Faulkner, a former Ohio Statehouse correspondent for The Cincinnati Enquirer, the founder of the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association and the dean of political writers during his lifetime. This year’s winners, of $1,500 each, are Sheridan Hendrix of  The Ohio State University and Hayley Harding of Ohio University. Hendrix is the Oller Reporter for The Lantern, a position designed to give reporters at OSU’s student newspaper time to work on longer enterprise stories. Her reporting has included coverage of the board of trustees, university president, on-campus protests, 2016 elections and the funeral of U.S. Sen. John Glenn. She is a member of SPJ’s student chapter. Harding is a junior in the news and information track at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and also is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is president and a former treasurer of OU’s student SPJ chapter, has worked as editor of the student-run newspaper, The Post, and has worked at The Denver Post, The New Political and mental_floss.
  • The Marty Award recognizes high-school journalists and is named in memory of Martin L. Rozenman, a Central Ohio SPJ Chapter board member, editor at Suburban News Publications and a Columbus Dispatch reporter. Clare Proctor of Dublin Coffman High School also won the Best Feature Writing award this year for “After the Attack,” a story about a student whose family survived an attack in Iraq in 2005 and moved to the United States. Four other students won awards in other writing categories.

Link to the ThisWeek Community News story on all the 2017 winners in The Martys Contest for Central Ohio high school journalists

Board of Directors

New Officers of the CentraL Ohio SPJ for the 2017-2018 programming year are:

  • President: Kevin Z. Smith, Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, The Ohio State University           
  • First Vice President (programming): Bruce Cadwallader, Franklin County Children Services
  • Second Vice President (membership): Mary Ann Edwards, retired from The Columbus Dispatch
  • Secretary: Doug Buchannan, Columbus Business First      
  • Treasurer: Joe Meyer, Meyer Media LLC

Board members continuing their service in new three-year terms are: Julanne Hohbach, Columbus Parent; Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau, Ohio Public Radio & Television; Mary Ann Edwards, retired from The Columbus Dispatch; and Joe Meyer, Meyer Media LLC. Two new board members were sworn to fill unexpired terms. They are Susan Post, Metropreneur/Columbus Underground and Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch.