Inland Contest Winners

Winners, finalists of last Inland Newsroom and News Photo Contest recognized for excellence

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In its final recognition of member newspaper excellence before merging with the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, Inland announced the winners and finalists of the Newsroom Contests and News Photo Contest

Each of the contests was co-sponsored and judged by a university school of journalism.

Here are the results of the 2019 contests:

Community Leadership Award

Sponsored and judged by the Missouri School of Journalism at Missouri University

The Inland Press Association Community Leadership Award was created to encourage newspapers to use their resources of news coverage, editorial support and staff involvement to make their communities better places in which to live and work.

This year a single winner was chosen.

Tulsa World

A team of Tulsa World journalists took on a year-long study of childhood trauma in Oklahoma, an often-misunderstood issue that underlies a long list of serious problems in the state. For example, Oklahoma is first in the nation in incarceration and heart-disease mortality. The series outlined how childhood trauma has developed into serious health and social issues, and the reporters explored solutions in human terms. Perhaps most personal, the Tulsa World reprinted a set of questions to help anyone engaged in the series understand whether they had been impacted by this silent epidemic. The nine-member team worked on a wide variety of platforms – podcast, video, print, photography and graphics – and their work was to the highest standards. The Tulsa World showcases what local journalism can do to bring attention to a serious community issue that’s getting little local or national attention. The dynamic work of the Tulsa World is aimed at starting a healing process, which is so needed in Oklahoma.

Front Page

Sponsored and judged by the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University

Under 10,000 Circulation

1st: Index-Journal, Greenwood, South Carolina

2nd: Buffalo (Wyoming) Bulletin

3rd: Grant County Herald Independent, Lancaster, Wisconsin

10,000 to 49,999 Circulation

1st: Santa Fe New Mexican

2nd: The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana

3rd: The News-Gazette, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Over 50,000 Circulation

1st: Albuquerque Journal

2nd: Tulsa World

3rd: Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Digital Journalism

Sponsored and judged by Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University

GENERAL EXCELLENCE

1st: Woolsey Fire Coverage. The Malibu Times

2nd: DailyHerald.com. Daily Herald

3rd: santafenewmexican.com, Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge on first place: Their use of social media conveyed urgency and critical information to the community in its time of need. I also thought they did a good job covering all the angles.

Multimedia storytelling

1st: 8 Hours on the border. Albuquerque Journal

Judge’s comment: In-depth multimedia reporting brought to light the stories of migrant families seeking asylum at the border. The story has a digital first form with incredible photos, outstanding storytelling, compelling audio and descriptive videos. It is clear the Albuquerque Journal dedicated a tremendous amount of time, energy and effort to share this story. A fantastic and important project.

2nd: The Road to Chimayo. santafenewmexican.com, Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s comment: The Santa Fe New Mexican did a tremendous job on the Road to Chimayo with a Knight Lab story Map that on its own told a full story through location, photo and text. Great writing and a strong narrative make it easy for the reader to get a good understanding of Chimayo. Impressive detail and reporting.

3rd: Wauconda Boy. Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Judge’s comment: Strong photos and a thoughtful video accompany a strong narrative about the mourning a 10-year old boy. Well-produced and easy to follow. Readers will gain an appreciation for the life lost and the community in mourning. Well done.

Digital Innovation

1st: The Road to Chimayo. santafenewmexican.com, Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s comment: The Santa Fe New Mexican did a tremendous job on the Road to Chimayo with a Knight Lab story Map that on its own told a full story through location, photo and text. Great writing and a strong narrative make it easy for the reader to get a good understanding of Chimayo. Impressive detail and reporting.

2nd: Transportation. sfexaminer.com, San Francisco Examiner

Judge’s comment: Data visualizations, historical images, a podcast and various other innovative digital storytelling techniques come together seamlessly for readers to get a strong understanding of transportation in San Francisco. Stories were interesting and compelling and left this reader wanting more. Excellent research and reporting developed into strong storytelling. Well done!

2019 News Photo Contest Winners

CLASS A NEWS

1st: Sorrow. Steve Lundy, Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Illinois

2nd: Flood Reflection. Tom Gilbert, Tulsa World

3rd: Wreaths. Michael Johnson, The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

Honorable Mentions:

  Industrial Standoff. Tom Gilbert, Tulsa World

  Floods Cause Oil Spill. Tom Gilbert, Tulsa World

Judges said of first place: The photographer kept a respectful distance from this heart wrenching scene of elementary school children grieving the loss of a 9-year-old classmate who died after falling off a paddleboat. The light is appropriate and the composition is tight and intimate.

CLASS A SPORTS

1st: Locker Room Celebration. Luis Sánchez Saturno, Santa Fe New Mexican

2nd: Hornets Win. Ian Maule, Tulsa World

3rd: Jackrabbits Throw. Kelly Lafferty Gerber, Kokomo (Indiana) Tribune

Honorable Mentions:

  Breast Cancer. Cindy Skop, The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

  Conrad Prisby. George Horsford, The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

Judges said of first place: The photographer’s timing and position was just right to capture the locker room elation. The shutter speed was slow enough to blur the coach as he was approaching the players, but the camera was steady enough to freeze the strong of every single player and parent in the room.

CLASS A FEATURE

1st: Armchair Director. Michelle Davies, The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana

2nd: Storm Aftermath. George Horsford, The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

3rd: American Flag. Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Honorable Mentions:

  Balloon Festival. Bill Mitchell, The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

  Dragon Boat. Cindy Skop, The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

Judges said of first place: A very smart moment captured during a somewhat chaotic scene. The timing caught the homeowner in the reflection of a mirror as volunteers help rearrange the old woman’s furniture. Cropped so that just enough of her knee is in the frame that we can locate her after finding her reflection and make sense of it. The payoff, of course, is the cat.

CLASS A PORTRAIT

1st: Taking a Break. Mike Simons, Tulsa World

2nd: Homeless Funeral. Mike Simons, Tulsa World

3rd: Popcorn Explosion. Brian Hill, Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Honorable Mentions:

  VHS Football Coach Pettus. Michael Johnson, The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

  Circus Act. Kelly Lafferty Gerber, Kokomo (Indiana) Tribune

Judges said of first place: A happy man makes for a nice portrait. The photographer used a fast lens to isolate the focus on the most salient features of Willie Lee Cox’s face.

CLASS A PICTURE STORY

1st: 8 Hours on the Border with Mexico. Roberto E. Rosales, Albuquerque Journal

2nd Place: Oklahoma Floods. Mike Simons, Tulsa World

3rd Place: Raising a Steer. Michael Johnson, The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

Honorable Mentions:

  Courage, Hope and Heart. Gabriela Campos, Santa Fe New Mexican

Judges said of first place: This is a comprehensive, in-depth look at the U.S.-Mexican border and the migrants trying to cross. All the major actors are represented in a variety of compositions that explore the grief of migrants, the duty of border agents, and the presence of vigilantes, It’s impressive that the photographer found all of this in just eight hours. It takes a lot of knowledge and effort.

CLASS B NEWS

1st: 1010 Street Art. Michelle Davies, Mike Moore and Katie Fyfe. The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Judges said of first place: Good effort by the editor to coordinate coverage by three different photographers resulted in a nice time sequence. Photo usage nicely depicts the passage of time.

Local News Writing Awards

Sponsored and judged by the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky

Explanatory Writing

Under 10,000 circulation

1st: Index-Journal, Greenwood, South Carolina. Cracks in the Foundation. Matthew Hensley, assistant editor

2nd: Index-Journal, Greenwood, South Carolina En Route to Bus Safety Damian Dominguez, Adam Benson, reporters; Matthew Hensley, assistant editor

3rd: Republic Monitor, Perryville, Missouri ‘Not the end of the world’: Rash of suicide attempts,some staged, plagues jail Robert Cox, reporter

10,000-49,999 Circulation

1st: The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana Secure at School (nine stories on school safety). Ashley Sloboda, Brian Francisco, Niki Kelly, Jamie Duffy, Ron Shango, Matthew LeBlanc, reporters

2nd: The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun
Decision 2018 Florida turnout: It’s rural voters’ revenge. Leah Schwarting, reporter

3rd: The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

Where Love Lives Across Generations. A Daily Sun Special Report on Grandparents Rights. Mackenzie Raetz, reporter

50,000 Circulation and above

1st: Tulsa World

Special Report: Breaking the Cycle

(An 8-part series: “Oklahoma leads the nation in childhood trauma. How are the scars we leave on our children affecting our state, and what can we do about it?”). Michael Overall, Curtis Killman, Corey Jones, Guerin Emig, Tim Stanley, Andrea Eger, reporters

2nd: Albuquerque Journal

8 Hours on the Border. Angela Kocherga, Scott Turner, Algernon D’Ammassa, reporters (A 4-part series takes readers from El Paso, Texas, to Sunland Park, New Mexico, then across the border into Mexico, and finally to a look at possible solutions to the immigration crisis.). Angela Kocherga, Scott Turner, Algernon D’Ammassa, reporters

3rd: Albuquerque Journal

Ground Zero for the Homeless (A 3-day series on the effect of homelessness on downtown neighborhoods). Rick Nathanson, reporter

Investigative Reporting

Under 10,000 Circulation

1st: The Wake Weekly, Wake Forest, North Carolina Town says public emails would cost $70K. Shawn Taylor, reporter

10,000-49,999 Circulation

1st: The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pennsylvania Church sex abuse: Report holds six Roman Catholic diocese in Pa. accountable in cover-up of widespread sexual abuse. Borys Krawczeniuk, Terrie Morgan-Besecker, Steve Mocarsky, Jeff Horvath, Bill Wellock, Jon O’Connell, Marc Levy, Mark Scolforo, Clayton Over, Joseph Kohut, Kent Jackson, Eric Mark, reporters

2nd: The Villages (Florida) Daily Sun

Catching a Killer: Why residents here are four times more likely than other Americans to survive a cardiac event. Mackenzie Raetz, Phill Stuart, Michael Salerno, reporters; Curt Hills, managing editor

3rd: Santa Fe New Mexican

Exposed: The life and death of Chad Walde, An investigation by the Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublica. Rebecca Moss, reporter

50,000 Circulation and above

1st: Tulsa World. Epic Charter Schools under investigation by state, federal law enforcement agencies. Andrea Eger, reporter

2nd: Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Illinois. Improprieties at the Illinois Tollway. Marni Pyke, reporter

3rd: Albuquerque Journal. Feeling the pain: A 3-part series on lack of access to health care in New Mexico. Colleen Heild, reporter

Personality/ Individual Profile Stories

Under 10,000 Circulation

1st: Buffalo (Wyoming) Bulletin

Homecoming: After 69 years, Marston Kirtley returns home. Stephen Dow, reporter, with Floyd Whiting, reporter

2nd: The Malibu (California) Times

Mikke Pierson: ‘The Bird Man of Malibu’, Emily Sawicki, reporter

3rd: Index-Journal, Greenwood, South Carolina Long road to recovery

Damian Dominguez, reporter

10,000-49,999 Circulation

1st: Santa Fe New Mexican, Finding Tommy. Daniel J. Chacon, reporter

2nd: Santa Fe New Mexican, A principal who is a pal. Robert Nott, reporter

3rd: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne

Acquitted mom fights to get kids back home. Katie Kull, reporter

50,000 Circulation and above

1st: Tulsa World. Old ball game: Softball diamonds are forever for team with 84-year-old leader. Jimmie Tramel, reporter

2nd: Albuquerque Journal. Jesus Cartagena: Double murder suspect had reputation as a ‘gentle giant.’ Matthew Reisen, reporter

3rd: Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Illinois. After her infamous ask to Patrick Kane, whatever happened to Peggy Kusinski? Barry Rozner, reporter

Editorial Excellence

Sponsored and judged by the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, University of Kansas

Under 10,000 Circulation

1st: Buffalo (Wyoming) Bulletin

In tight phrasing that leaves no room for misunderstanding, the editorials of the Buffalo Bulletin make the case in straightforward language. Calling out the thirty-six legislators whose position on local control changes with the issue reveals the consternation any constituent feels about politicians’ fence-sitting, while bringing up the needs of economically disadvantaged parents in a discussion about shortening the school week shows how The Bulletin stands for everyone in its community, making it a good neighbor to all.

2nd: Palestine (Texas) Herald-Press, “What are they hiding?”

10,000 to 49,999 Circulation

1st: Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne

Frustration with officials’ inaction can be a wonderful motivator to an informed writer, so put on sunglasses before reading the editorial page to protect your eyes from the sparks flying from the columns. The Tribune-Eagle holds legislators accountable for postponing a decision when they call for yet another study before considering whether they should make a decision on changing the state’s tax structure and expanding Medicaid. A high school principal in Cheyenne is similarly held to account for a milquetoast response to racist and homophobic flyers posted in his school. The paper’s voice is a growl, standing against official inaction in cases where the state’s most vulnerable are at risk.

2nd: The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana. “Listen,” “Self-serving Dark Money,” “Complicit,” “Unnecessary Cruelty”

3rd: Santa Fe New Mexican, “Our View’, written by Inez Russell Gomez

Over 50,000 Circulation

1st: Albuquerque Journal

In calling for the resignation of a legislator arrested for allegedly causing a traffic accident while driving drunk, the Albuquerque Journal makes a case that’s both sensible and, unfortunately, necessary, because the legislator in question won’t resign or step down from the chairmanship of the senate’s judiciary committee. The Journal addresses everyone in the statehouse when it pleads the case to improve safety on a highway through New Mexico that claims a every ten days—in two rural counties alone. The editorials express anger over dozens of used hypodermic needles ruining a Little League ballfield, and demand action on a change to voting rules that may do the opposite of what the secretary of state claims. Taken together, the stands give the Journal a voice of reason on unreasonable matters.

2nd: Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Illinois, Editorials by Jim Slusher

3rd: Tulsa World