Appreciation Award Recipients – 1979-Present

The Central Ohio SPJ Appreciation Award is presented to an individual or organization that has made a notable contribution to journalism in central Ohio. Award recipients include:

2022 – Columbus Alive staff, including Andy Downing and Joel Oliphint; and Julie Fulton, former librarian and researcher for The Columbus Dispatch
2021 – Jim Siegel,
late reporter for The Columbus Dispatch; Ohio Department of Health for Covid-19 dashboard; Joe Blundo, The Columbus Dispatch columnist; and Doug Haddix, longtime Columbus journalist
2020 – No ceremony due to Covid-19
2019 – Eugene C. “Gene” D’Angelo
, former general manager, WBNS-10TV; and Dennis Hetzel, former executive director, Ohio News Media Association
2018 – Todd Jones
, former sports reporter/columnist, The Columbus Dispatch
2017 – Dominic Cappa, editor in chief of Columbus Business First from 1999-2017, and Carol Ann Lease, retired city editor of The Columbus Dispatch
2016 – Ben Marrison, editor of The Columbus Dispatch from 1999-2015
2015 – John Long, co-founder and executive director, Main Street Press Museum
2014 – David Marburger, Open Records and Open Meetings attorney for Baker Hostetler
2013 – Tom Griesdorn, WBNS-10TV, and Bill Cohen, Ohio Public Radio and Television
2012 – Sharon West, Ohio State University
2011 – Frank Deaner, Ohio Newspaper Association, past board member
2010 – Jim Toms, former publisher at Suburban News Publications
2009 – Kirk Arnott, Columbus Dispatch, and Dom Cappa, Business First
2008 – Danny Russell, former editor of The Other Paper
2007 – Joe McKnight, Associated Press (retired) and past chapter president
2006 – Robert Ruth, The Columbus Dispatch
2005 – Anne Maher, Suburban News Publications
2004 – Lee Leonard, The Columbus Dispatch
2003 – Dave Richter, retired OSU journalism professor and SPJ board member
2002 – Michael F. Curtin, president and associate publisher of The Columbus Dispatch
2001 – Bruce Cadwallader, national convention chairman
2000 – Mike Mahoney and American Electric Power
1999 – Don Lambert, Ohio University journalism professor
1998 – Ralph Izard, retired director of the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University
1997 – Jerry Revish, WBNS-TV news anchor
1996 – Bob Smith, retired editor of The Columbus Dispatch
1995 – Joe Meyer, Suburban News Publications
1994 – Mary McGarey, longtime chapter and board member
1993 – Jim Underwood, former Plain Dealer bureau chief
1992 – Bill Cohen, Ohio Public Radio/Television
1991 – Martin Yant, The Columbus Dispatch
1990 – Thomas M. Forsythe, publisher of Suburban News Publications
1988 – Dick Otte, Dispatch managing editor
1986 – John J. Clarke, Ohio State University journalism professor
1979 – C. William O’Neill, chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court

Other winners: Benson Wolman of the American Civil Liberties Union

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