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Burlington, Nashville, Phoenix and Rochester Lead Third-Quarter Awards of Excellence

McLEAN, Va., Nov. 7, 2013 — U.S. Community Publishing today announced winners of its quarterly Awards of Excellence, which recognize the group’s best journalism for July through September.

The Detroit Free Press, Reno Gazette-Journal and The News-Star at Monroe won top prizes for public service journalism. In the watchdog category, the Des Moines Register, Gannett Wisconsin Media and The Jackson Sun at Jackson, Tenn., set the standard.

The highest-performing news organizations, as measured by award citations, were:

Division I
Nashville, Phoenix and Rochester (five each). Des Moines had the most winners with three.

Division II
Burlington (five) and Reno (four). Both Burlington and Reno won in three categories.

Division III
Monroe, Staunton and Zanesville (three). East Brunswick, Jackson, Tenn., and Lafayette had two winners each.

Design studios
Asbury Park (five). Asbury Park, Nashville and Phoenix each won one a first place.

Judges for the third quarter were:

– Michael Davis, executive editor and Carol Currie, Capitol Bureau Chief of the Statesman-Journal in Salem
– Stephanie Angel, managing editor and Lindsay VanHulle, reporter of the Lansing State Journal
– Dan Flannery, executive editor of Post-Crescent Media in Appleton and regional executive editor for Gannett Wisconsin Media, and Ed Berthiaume, regional features editor, Gannett Wisconsin Media-East.
– Omar Vega, NJ design team leader and Abigail Westcott, designer, Asbury Park Design Studio.

If you’d like to nominate a judge for future quarters, call Mackenzie Warren, who administers the awards programs.

Prize money
First Place winners receive the following prizes: For a First Place award where the newsroom is cited, the newsroom gets $250, through intracompany deposit. If an individual is named in the First Place award, that individual gets $250 through a payroll deposit. Up to four individuals may be cited and they will split the $250 prize. For winning entries that cite five or more staffers, the $250 will go to the newsroom.

Public service journalism
This category recognizes work that contributes to the community’s greater good and that is done by an individual, news staff or by the news organization as an institution.

The work could consist of journalism that address a community concern and prompts the community to address that concern. The effort could begin with journalism and then be furthered by a community leadership project in which your news organization champions a campaign or leads a conversation that identifies and weighs possible community action. Investigative and explanatory reporting may be elements of an entry, as may editorials or other opinion pieces. Print, digital and social media will often be used to help move the community forward. Efforts might include a public forum or an event, or a continuing campaign organized by or conducted under the auspices of the news organization that is based on the newsroom’s journalism. Entries should make clear the impact or results of the work.

An entry consists of no more than five days of work by an individual or staff and should focus on one campaign or one effort. Judges will pay particular attention to how the public service stems from or links to your news organization’s target audiences and passion topics.


Detroit Free Press (Winner)

The Detroit Free Press connects dozens of dots to explain to its hometown readers — and anyone else with an interest in one of America’s largest cities — how Detroit went broke. It’s not a simple story to tell. The political and social players are many and varied. The ramifications to the metropolitan area, the state and the major industries and cultural outlets are striking, stunning and significant.

Judges said: The Free Press did amazing work in explaining — in superb images, insightful but concise graphics, detailed storytelling and expert packaging — what happened to the economic base of its hometown. A story of this depth, that took decades to unfold, cannot be given short-shrift, but it also must be told on a level that can be readily understood by both the powerful and the afflicted. “How Detroit Went Broke” will likely be a strong contender for major journalism prizes when that season rolls around early next year. But for now, the citizens of Detroit are the winners because their hometown Free Press invested the time, nailed the reporting and executed a tremendous plan to give them not only a history lesson, but the needed context — through stories and editorials — to make better decisions in the future. This is first-class work.

To see the work:

The Tennessean at Nashville (Finalist)
Nate Rau and Jessica Bliss, reporters

For The Tennessean’s “txt + drvng = risk” package, which covers every base of what has become a disturbing and dangerous activity for motorists of almost every age. The package tells tragic and preventable stories, shares sage advice and even offers technology — in the form of apps — that should help alter the driving behavior of anyone who takes the time to read it.

Judges said: This is a dose of in-your-face journalism about an in-your-face societal issue — texting while driving. As stated in several places in this package, Tennessee has more traffic fatalities caused by cellphone use than any other state. The Tennessean’s special section underscored the gravity of this behavior, and the digital development of a “game” simulator that explained in graphic terms how quickly lives can change drove the point home as well. The project includes watchdog work, great feature and trends reporting, a national perspective and personal stories about the real-life impact of texting tragedies. An editorial that called for a “divorce” between texting and driving was powerful. This topic gets occasional coverage on a national level, but it’s refreshing to see a major metro make a substantial and powerful effort to make a difference in its home state.

To see the work:

The Indianapolis Star (Finalist)
Matthew Tully, columnist; Tim Evans, John Tuohy, Michael Boren, Mark Nichols, reporters; Leisa Richardson and Tim Swarens, editors; Robert Scheer, photographer; Amy Haneline and Stephen Beard, digital developers

After a wave of violence resulted in dozens of needless and disturbing deaths in Indianapolis, The Star’s team did an exceptional job in what committed journalists should always do: examine and explain the circumstances, describe efforts by police and neighborhoods to turn the tide and offer solutions. Wonderful print and digital presentation was equally critical to the project, and both augmented superb storytelling.

Judges said: Not every award-winning enterprise project has the benefit of months-long planning, but the Indy Star’s efforts in this entry show that committed, experienced journalists — people who eat, sleep and breathe in their community — can offer exceptional work to their readers, even under very difficult circumstances. Matthew Tully’s three months of police ride-alongs were lengthy, but powerful. The work put readers on the streets and in the car next to officers. Digital graphics explained what had been happening in the previous few months in a way that made complete sense even to a stranger to the city. This project had to be critical to The Star’s readers, helping them cope with a disturbing wave of violence and pushing them to find their better selves, for their community’s sake. Wonderful work in a tough situation.

To see the work:


Reno Gazette-Journal (Winner)
Liz Margerum, videographer; Martha Bellisle, reporter; Editorial Board

For a deep look at the sex trafficking of teenage girls in Reno, told through stories by Martha Bellisle and a video by Liz Margerum. The stories and video detail how troubled teens are lured into the life of prostitution, how they’re shamed and abused and how the pimps who control them face few consequences. Former prostitutes speak openly about the life and the difficulty of escaping.

Judges said: An extensive, insightful, well presented report both in print and digitally on the prostitution industry that is prevalent in Reno. The stories by Martha Bellisle and a well-done documentary-style video by Liz Margerum introduce readers to women who were caught up in sex trafficking as teenagers and explained how law enforcement approaches the issue and why existing consequences don’t deter the pimps who drive the industry. Readers come away with a much clearer picture of the tragic and mostly unseen lives of these abused girls.

To see the work:

Montgomery Advertiser (Finalist)
Sebastian Kitchen, asst. editor/business and government; Kala Kachmar and Brian Lyman, reporters; Rick Harmon, editor/business and government

For an extensive look at the troubles of Alabama’s prison system amid concerns that deteriorating conditions would bring a federal takeover.

Judges said: The reporting team of Sebastian Kitchen, Kala Kachmar, Brian Lyman and Rick Harmon put together an insightful, well-written three-part series detailing the issues and history that brought the state’s prisons to a point of mass failure and a potentially costly federal takeover. The reporting painted a picture for readers about why they should care, both on a human level and on a financial/taxpayer level.

To see the work:

Tallahassee Democrat (Finalist)

For coverage of the brutal arrest of a 44-year-old woman, and the police department’s efforts to hide from the public the excessive force used in that arrest. It includes dashboard footage of the arrest that became one of the Tallahassee Democrat’s most watched videos ever. It also includes reader reaction to the reporting of the incident and the Democrat’s efforts to hold law enforcement agencies responsible for their actions.

Judges said: Phenomenal job of pushing for law enforcement and other public officials to be up front with the release of information the public has a right to see, and to be held accountable when warranted. The dashboard video is startling to watch, and the Democrat staff did an outstanding job of reporting on it, putting it into perspective and pushing for answers. It’s what watchdog reporting is all about.

To see the work:
Breaking news story/video: (original video)
Gabordi blog:
Police chief retires: (press conference video)
Sunday folo: (video package)
Grand jury takes TPD use of force case In city government, city manager has broad authority (video)


The News-Star at Monroe (Winner)
Sarah Eddington and Cole Avery, writers and Louisiana Gannett newspapers

For a series on what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would mean to News-Star readers. The News-Star provided a guide to navigate the complexities of the new legislation, retooling its newsroom staffing to put emphasis on this project. It partnered with other news organizations in the Gannett Louisiana group and the Des Moines Design Studio to deliver this coverage.

Judges said: Strong planning and great execution resulted in a thorough, well-crafted look at the many layers involved with the new health care legislation. Breakouts on FAQs and where to find help added to the ease of navigating a multi-day report that is packed full of good information. The News-Star staffers, including local content editor Mark Henderson and reporters Sarah Eddington and Cole Avery can hold their heads high that they served their readers well.

To see the work:

The Leaf-Chronicle at Clarksville (Finalist)
Philip Grey and Tavia D. Green, multimedia journalists; Chris Smith, senior editor

For a series of stories and videos that explore the reasons behind 17 reports of suicide at a nearby Army base. It finds that there are no easy answers to explain the suicides and that writing them all off as PTSD isn’t based in reality.

Judges said: The multi-day report, done in conjunction with a TV news partner, takes a layered look at a very complex and emotional issue. Reporter Philip Grey, along with multimedia journalist Tavia D. Green and senior editor Chris Smith, does a nice job of detailing the various issues at play in the various suicides. It disproves the assumption that all were the result of PTSD. These journalists tell the emotional stories of family members left to pick up the pieces as they search for answers that may never come. Readers are left with a much better understanding of the pressures, stresses and complexities of military life.

To see the work:
Mother of victim in murder/suicide:
Reporter gives presentation on suicide:

The Daily News Journal at Murfreesboro (Finalist)
Adam Sparks and Mealand Ragland-Hudgins, multimedia journalist; The Daily News Journal editorial board

For coverage of an ex-Marine who tried to play football at Middle Tennessee State but got caught up in an NCAA eligibility rule that threatened to snuff out his season. The Daily News Journal’s story was picked up by national media sites and created a significant buzz. The NCAA eventually relented and ruled the player could indeed play.

Judges said: The initial story by Adam Sparks is well-crafted, detailing the plight of 24-year-old ex-Marine who is a walk-on player on the MTSU football team. Aside from detailing the background of the player and the emotions involved, Sparks does a nice job explaining why the NCAA ruled the player ineligible for the season. Sparks followed up the story with a column and additional coverage once his story was picked up by websites such as Yahoo, USA Today, ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

To see the work:

Watchdog journalism
This category recognizes investigative journalism that uncovers wrongdoing or malfeasance by individuals, businesses, charities, public officials, public agencies, institutions that serve the public,
or by those who do business with the government or public. The work holds individuals, businesses, agencies and institutions accountable for their action or inaction. The work may protect the safety and welfare of individuals. Entries should make clear the impact or the results of the journalism.

A broad range of reporting techniques and resources are used to produce watchdog journalism, including database and records analysis in addition to comprehensive reporting and interviewing. Watchdog work uses both print and digital storytelling approaches and engages audience members.

An entry can spotlight work by an individual or staff. Judges will pay particular attention to evidence of an ongoing drumbeat of coverage pressure that underscores a watchdog culture in your newsroom.


Des Moines Register (Winner)
Clark Kauffman, investigative writer

For coverage of heartbreaking conditions at a state foster-home facility. From the officials who ran the juvenile home to the girls who were kept in concrete-block cells — and every one in between and on the periphery — the Register discovered deplorable conditions, and made sure action was taken to move this facility in the right direction. Clark Kaufman deserves major credit for the investigation, but without a dedicated and talented staff to present this material in a powerful way in print and digital products, it would not have had the same effect.

Judges said: This is powerful, game-changing work that exposed circumstances at the Iowa Juvenile Home for what they were (deplorable), facility staffers for what they were (callous, transient, forgetful, cynical and incompetent), and state oversight for what it was (seemingly unaware). Clark Kaufman’s reporting went far beyond the norm to hold state authorities accountable for the performance and perception of this foster-home facility. The Register’s video and photo presence brought digital readers into the facility to see the conditions and circumstances for themselves. This project is ground-zero for responsible journalism.

To see the work:

The Cincinnati Enquirer (Finalist)
Chrissie Thompson, state government reporter

The Enquirer’s Chrissie Thompson did a valuable reader service — and committed first-class journalism — by uncovering Ohio’s launch of facial recognition software before it alerted the unsuspecting public. Thompson’s hustle to get this story caught Ohio’s justice officials red-handed as they scrambled to put the best face on the situation.

Judges said: Old-fashioned hustle. Determination to get the story out quickly and accurately. A clear understanding of the timeliness of the story. Dead-certain documentation, and full use of all the methods of getting the story out. This was a home run for Chrissie Thompson, The Enquirer and its readers. Thompson’s get-it-done work made sure residents first heard about this controversial use of public documentation from the Enquirer, instead of through the spin machine of state government. The state AG and others were left to explain how the residents of Ohio were unaware that their drivers’ license photos were now being used for other purposes. In light of the summer’s NSA revelations, Thompson and the Enquirer did a great job of acting quickly and accurately to let readers know that they were being watched, even as they posed for drivers license mugshots.

To see the work:
Live video:
50-state interactive:

The Arizona Republic at Phoenix (Finalist)
Craig Harris and Dustin Gardiner, reporters

For the Arizona Republic’s work in uncovering and explaining the public-pension “spiking” practice, which has led to investigations, lawsuits and increased public vigilance in overseeing how taxpayer-paid employees are compensated. There are few things that infuriate readers more than knowing their dollars are being abused. The Republic’s reporting helps readers know what’s happening.

Judges said: Edgy, important reporting by Craig Harris put The Republic at the front of this follow-the-money story, and prompted follow-up actions (legal and verbal) to curb or end the practice of double-dipping and/or transforming time-off into dollars. Through determined use of public records and deep understanding of how the public-compensation model works, Harris was able to explain — in easily understood words — how departing workers were multiplying their post-employment compensation in ways most readers probably didn’t know. Changes are being made, and action is being taken in Arizona to discontinue or limit this practice. The Republic’s work is a big reason for that.

To see the work:
–Mayor seeks to end pension ‘spiking’ (July 25, 2013):

–Questions over funds’ land values (Aug. 4, 2013):

–Arizona pension system gave out bonuses (Aug. 11, 2013):

–The Republic pushed for public records (Aug. 11, 2013):

–Goldwater files suit to stop pension spiking (Aug. 15, 2013):

–Retiring Phoenix City Manager Cavazos able to ‘spike’ his city pension (Sept. 4, 2013):

–Phoenix pension ‘spiking’ rules vary for city employees (Sept. 15, 2013):

–Phoenix ballot initiative would overhaul pension system (Sept. 15, 2013):

–Arizona public-safety pension board suspends bonuses (Sept. 25, 2013)

–Retirement-system director delays bonus request (Sept. 29, 2013):


Gannett Wisconsin Media (Winner)

Every news organization has done “cold case” stories. But none has taken this approach: on a statewide scale, with 10 newsrooms collaborating. Unprecedented digital presentation and visual database of almost 400 cases. Twenty videos. CoverIt Live conversations with officers still involved in trying to solve decades-old crimes. Watchdog reporting on the collaboration (or lack thereof) between local, state and federal law enforcement officials, as well as stories about funding issues. Gannett Wisconsin Media’s out-of-the-box and digital-first approach to this content covered every one of the traditional bases of murder-mystery coverage, but added new approaches and deeper understanding on the challenges faced by families and law enforcement in getting to the bottom of these crimes.

Judges said: A broader and more digital approach to traditional content is what separated this Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team project from a very strong field of watchdog entries. As many as nine entries in the category could have been chosen for the top three spots. But the GWM approach was chosen because it broke new ground in its approach to relatively common coverage. Reporter Nick Penzenstadler and the Gannett Wisconsin digital team created a visual database of almost 400 unsolved state murders, with mugshots of many victims, and details on all of the cases, dating back to 1926. Many of the 22 videos in the project were poignant, from the perspective of families and law enforcement officials searching for answers. Journalists from all 10 Gannett Wisconsin sites contributed to the coverage, coordinated by I-Team editor John Ferak. The project generated a new level of awareness for many of these cases, and officials were approached with new information on some of them. The database is updated as cases are solved. This package is strong and excellent evidence that there are new ways to cover traditional stories.

To see the work:
Special section page:
Long-form video-1:
Long-form video-2:
Other videos:
Live chat-1:
Live chat-2:
Public radio interview:

Tallahassee Democrat (Finalist)
Sean Rossman, reporter; Bob Gabordi, executive editor

For an experiment designed to show how journalists and ordinary citizens are treated differently under open-records law. The Tallahassee Democrat deserves major credit for an innovative approach to open records stories, using non-reporters on its staff to request police reports that had already been received in heavily redacted form. When the comparison between the forms given to reporters and the forms given to non-reporters proved that a double standard of openness existed, the Democrat made the case clearly and forcefully online and in print, and changes happened at the Tallahassee Police Department.

Judges said: This is a great example of the difference a news organization can make when it’s finally had enough from a local government agency. The Democrat’s reporting not only proved the point that the Tallahassee Police Department had created a lower level of openness — and therefore, important information that the public needed to know was sometimes literally left unsaid — but its editorial voice, and a blog by editor Bob Gabordi, left nothing to chance in explaining why the public should care about this matter. The comparison between documents given to reporters and non-reporters is often stark, and left the TPD with no wiggle room. Changes had to be made, and they were. The Democrat is also lauded for making sure that corporate legal and news executives were consulted about the ethics of this investigation. The public was well-served because they did it.

To see the work:

Poughkeepsie Journal (Finalist)
Mary Beth Pfeiffer, projects writer

The Journal has earned attention over the past few years because of its great work on New York’s unfortunate struggle with Lyme disease. (There’s more there than anywhere in the nation). This follow-up work by Mary Beth Pfeiffer goes to the heart of watchdog reporting by uncovering the political ramifications of what most would think are medical and treatment questions. For this coverage area, Pfeiffer’s work is a reason to make sure the Journal is part of a reader’s life.

Judges said: Over the course of a year, The Journal has offered a dozen separate reports about Lyme disease, ranging from basic and advanced medical information to the social and political issues that come from such a prominent medical matter. In this entry, The Journal and reporter Mary Beth Pfeiffer explore a study the government preferred to sit on, and report on the probable growth in Lyme cases, linked to the increasing acceptance of the disease by various segments of society. The Journal used insightful and detailed video reports to augment Pfeiffer’s nationally recognized expert reporting on all aspects of the matter. The Journal’s ongoing work here remains a beacon of clarity in a conversation muddied by turf wars and disagreement.

To see the work:


The Jackson Sun at Jackson, Tenn. (Winner)
Jordan Buie, reporter

When a community leader was disgraced over a bank fraud allegation, the Sun went to bat for its readers in a gripping and detailed report on the man’s shady dealings. Print and digital components complimented each other very well in a package that combined traditional old-school journalism with new-school methods of digital presentation.

Judges said: The Sun knows its community, and understands full well that what happened to real estate attorney Clay McCormack would be of high interest to much of its local readership. Reporter Jordan Buie dove deep into legal documents left in McCormack’s wake to explain a complicated financial and legal matter in more easily understood language. The Prezi digital presentation did a great job of bringing readers inside the deal that brought down McCormack, explaining how others were affected by the deal. While it’s not necessarily about govermnent expenditures, this is a strong example of watchdog journalism and using public documents to serve as a roadmap for a matter of intrigue for a community.

To see the work:
Scribd documents:

Prezi presentation:

The Ithaca Journal (Finalist)
Andrew Casler, reporter; Joanne Walsh, designer

For a look into wild cost overruns in the renovation of Tompkins County’s legislative chambers. The Ithaca Journal was detailed and thorough in explaining the outrageous overage to its readers.

Judges said: Some spending just gets out of hand, apparently, but when it happened to the tune of 6-to-12 times the estimated amount for the renovation of the Tompkins County Legislature’s chambers, reporter Andrew Casler of the Ithaca Journal made sure that pretty much every dollar was detailed for county taxpayers. Casler gave the people who made the spending decisions their space and their say. The report’s detail in every facet of the over-spent project went a long way toward helping the Journal’s readership understand where and why costs spiraled so dramatically.

To see the work:
Photo gallery

The Daily Advertiser at Lafayette, La. (Finalist)
Claire Taylor, watchdog reporter

The Daily Advertiser essentially did all of the heavy lifting needed — creating a database where none had existed before — to show readers that drunken driving in its readership area was not taken very seriously by local courts.

Judges said: This category had a wealth of drunk-driving entries, but this was the best of that collection, with great print display and solid reporting that showed a cavalier attitude by the local justice system.

To see the work:
OWI Main Bar:
Monday story:

As we serve increasingly sophisticated audiences in an increasingly competitive media environment, innovation is part of everyone’s job. The point of this category is to reward journalists whose ingenuity led to better coverage and better outcomes for readers. Examples of appropriate nominations might be: clever uses of new storytelling tools, creative ways to engage audiences and other advances that create new value, particularly for subscribers; or an improvement in a process or structure that created greater capacity for doing good journalism despite constrained resources. The award can go to one or more journalists, or to an entire staff.

Division I

The Tennessean at Nashville (Winner)
Michael McCann, developer

For Michael McCann’s development of a text and driving simulator to test drivers’ skills without putting them at risk. It played a significant role in the Tennessean’s special report on the life-and-death issue of distracted driving.

Judges said: This was an energetic marriage of community service journalism and innovation. Without the simulator, the Tennessean’s noble Sunday project would have been impactful, but not interactive. Within seconds of using the simulator, the judges had gone off the road while trying to send the simplest of text messages. It was sobering and scary. This is what we all imagined digital journalism might become: an expansion of our ability to inform and lead people to action. Any driver of any age could benefit from a turn at the simulator. It says a lot that the Davidson County General Sessions Court Traffic School is linking to the Tennessean’s site so that all students can take a turn behind the simulated wheel. It could very well save lives.

To see the work:

The Courier-Journal at Louisville (Finalist)
Tom Heiser, senior content programmer; Jeffrey Lee Puckett, music critic; Mary Ann Gerth, assistant photo editor; Scott Utterback, photojournalist

For a conversational web-based talk show that celebrates the renaissance of rock music on vinyl.

Judges said: Rock on, Jeffrey Lee Puckett and Tom Heiser, a Baby Boomer and Gen-Xer respectively. Your Siskel-and-Ebert debate style and custom-built set (not at all like Wayne and Garth’s basement) combine for satisfying and well-paced webisodes. You’ve taken your newsroom buddy banter and disagreements about music and found a winning way of sharing it with a wider audience. It’s cheeky platform perfection. We could waste some serious time watching it. Kudos to Mary Ann Gerth and Scott Utterback for the visuals.

To see the work:

The Arizona Republic at Phoenix (Finalist)
Gary Nakanelua and Elizabeth Kyllingstad, digital developers; Lorelei Cretu,online production manager

For developing a mobile app for users to instantly nominate and vote for’s BEST, the annual poll for choosing favorite places, businesses and things to do.

Judges said: The Republic kicked things up a notch in 2013 with the development of this easy-to-use app that allowed users to make on-the-spot judgments between courses, during intermission, at halftime or while refueling en route to a favorite destination. It’s little wonder this app took off.

The Indianapolis Star (Finalist)

For launching two winning initiatives for ravenous sports fans: a must-watch talk show starring an Indianapolis Colts punter and a sophisticated sports magazine for tablet users.

Judges said: Pat McAfee’s weekly gabfest, set in a suburban bar-restaurant, is a howl. The self-depricating punter provides a casual and comfortable take on the life of a professional athlete, and the live audience eats it up. It’s platform perfect and a direct hit for the passion topic target. The magazine, launched in tandem with the show, adds value for the subscriber and may be of high interest to the fan who has banged into the meter limit and is ready to cry, “Uncle.” You’ve scored, Indy, but don’t celebrate excessively. That’s 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.

To see the work:


Reno Gazette-Journal (Winner)
Jackie Green, communities editor; Lauren Gustus, features editor; Laura Longero, copy editor/H&G reporter

Using DIY tools and finishes, Reno-area crafters gave new life to flea-market finds, then uploaded images of their creations as part of an online auction facilitated by the Reno Gazette-Journal. The effort raised $1,200, part of which went to the RGJ Foundation, a nonprofit that benefits education and community groups.

Judges said: This project was a meeting of two worlds: the time-honored craftsperson and the digital innovator. At the intersection was a charmingly diverse gallery of 40 examples of up-cycled furniture, accessories and objects d’art. The innovation here was in recognizing an emerging trend, that of taking something old or discarded and restoring or re-imagining it. It was good old-fashioned lifestyles journalism with a contemporary twist. At a time when features journalism isn’t getting much love, we were delighted to shine the light on Reno’s effort. Kudos to Jackie Green, Lauren Gustus and Laura Longero.

To see the work:

Argus-Leader at Sioux Falls (Finalist)

For the Argus-Leader’s year-long health and fitness initiative, which engaged community members, employers and nonprofits in a multimedia get-in-shape campaign.

Judges said: We particularly enjoyed the video series “Fitty and Foodie” which paired a marathon runner and a food blogger as they tackled physical fitness challenges. The project used a fitness tracking program developed by a local firm. It gave this project a digital edge.

To see the work:;;;

The Clarion-Ledger at Jackson, Miss. (Finalist)
Emily Le Coz, investigative reporter

For Emily Le Coz’s use of Tableau to create a daily dose of interactive infotainment.

Judges said: Who causes more trouble behind bars: men or women prisoners? The Viz, as Le Coz’ blog is known, crunched prison-mischief numbers in Mississippi and,with the help of Tableau, displayed some surprising results. (Except, perhaps, to the viewers of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black.) We were impressed with her commitment to alternative storytelling and for her inquisitive trolling of searchable databases. It’s one thing to do this kind of work on occasion. Le Coz now does it all the time.

To see the work:
The Viz blog:
Example of interactive for story:
Example of story supported by interactive:


Home News Tribune at East Brunswick (Winner)

The Home News Tribune aggregated Twitter comments from a variety of sources to offer sports fans a comprehensive, real time narrative of Friday night football. They attracted traffic to one site that would normally have gone to multiple Twitter accounts. They engaged staff writers, freelancers and community members in their saturation coverage.

Judges said: Everyone is trying to capitalize on the popularity of Friday night football. This is an example of a smart idea that had effective execution. Fans found this site and stayed with it during the peak hours of high school action. We were particularly pleased this effort came about as a result of training in Cover It Live. Staff members learned how to maximize the use of an exisiting technology to build their audience, seemingly without additional expense. A big high five to the staff.

To see the work:

Beat coverage
This award is designed to highlight the local expertise relentless journalism for which we are known. Judges will look for mastery of a coverage area that has been determined to be essential to one or more of your news organization’s target audiences. Judges will give extra weight to examples where ongoing beat coverage led the journalist to break news and beat your competitors. Entries can cite one or more journalists.

Division I

The Tennessean at Nashville (Winner)
Tom Wilemon, public health reporter

For Tom Wilemon’s expansive coverage of the Affordable Care Act, in which he paid particular attention to how the health care changes would affect real people from all walks of life — while not neglecting the effects on employers and health care providers.

Judges said: It’s hard to make people care about the Affordable Care Act, unless you make it personal. Wilemon’s “How will health reform affect me?” piece profiled six individuals with different circumstances, allowing readers to see themselves in the reporting. A second piece on the health care law’s losers revealed information many readers probably didn’t know. And that just scratches the surface of the stories he tackled on the issue. Great job bringing an important, yet cumbersome, issue into focus.

To see the work:

FLORIDA TODAY at Brevard (Finalist)
Jim Waymer, environmental reporter

For environmental reporter Jim Waymer’s work detailing the declining health of the Indian River Lagoon and the ecological problems it is facing, including a series of stories on what individuals can do to lessen their negative impact on the lagoon.

Judges said: Natural resources — and how we interact with them — matter. Jim Waymer makes that abundantly clear in his work on the Indian River Lagoon. From enterprising pieces about declining crab catches to a seagrass-planting project, Waymer gives a big-picture look at the health of the lagoon. His smart reporting shines, however, in his work about how individuals’ behaviors can and will affect the lagoon’s future.

To see the work:
July 25: Seagrass transplanting:

Sept. 14: Retention ponds:

Aug. 10: A growing debate (fertilizer use):

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Finalist)
Matt Daneman, business reporter

For Matt Daneman’s work on Kodak’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the company’s plans for the future.

Judges said: For many, Kodak is synonymous with Rochester, N.Y. So any developments on the struggling company are met with great interest from readers. Daneman tackled everything from what the departing CEO’s compensation might be to what Kodak is looking for in a new leader, of course in addition to covering the breaking news of the issue. Daneman’s pieces are written with expertise and authority, evidence of his mastery of the beat.

To see the work:
Video preview of KodakNext project:
Video on Kodak Alaris spinoff:
Video from NYC after a court hearing:


The Clarion-Ledger at Jackson, Miss. (Winner)
Brian Eason, City Hall reporter

For Brian Eason’s enterprising coverage of the city of Jackson. Stories went beyond standard meeting coverage to examine topical issues of importance to residents, including the cost to taxpayers of paid administrative leave, overflow problems at local recycling facilities and the impact of race and geography on Jackson’s mayoral election.

Judges said: Municipal reporting is vital to local communities, but too often it can become procedural or dry. Brian Eason does neither. He digs beyond routine happenings to find the stories no one else is covering, and his clear, authoritative writing easily conveys why they matter. Eason’s reporting led to changes in city policy, which likely would not have happened had he not brought problems to light.

St. Cloud Times (Finalist)
Ann Wessel, reporter

For Ann Wessel’s comprehensive multimedia project from Itasca State Park, one of Minnesota’s most popular state parks. Wessel, an outdoors lifestyle reporter, covered this travel story from a number of angles, weaving ecology and business into stories that also served as a visitors’ guide. Wessel took her own photos and shot iPhone video to accompany the project.

Judges said: Few entries came close to Ann Wessel’s project on Itasca State Park at fully integrating Content Evolution concepts into coverage. Her beat is outdoor recreation, and Wessel is an authority on the subject. Although not “hard news,” Wessel’s work very clearly represents a topic of importance to St. Cloud readers, and her multimedia presentation made for a rich experience.

To see the work:
History behind Itasca State Park’s Old Timers Cabin:
Find isolation on Itasca State Park trails:
Visitors flock to Itasca State Park for summer holiday:
Headwaters pole popular for poses at Itasca State Park:
Visitors flock to Mississippi headwaters:
Itasca State Park prepares for July 4:

The Burlington Free Press (Finalist)
Michael Donoghue, reporter

For Mike Donoghue’s dogged pursuit of a story about a deputy police chief charged with second-offense drunken driving. Donoghue made use of public records and surveillance video footage to try to get at the heart of exactly what happened that night.

Judges said: When police investigate their own, it can be challenging to get information, especially when the accused is a public official. Mike Donoghue was tenacious in following this story, requesting public records — and writing about what information he didn’t get and who wouldn’t turn it over. A great example of holding public officials accountable, at all levels.

To see the work:


Times Recorder at Zanesville (Winner)
Patrick O’Neill, staff writer

For Patrick O’Neill’s diverse approach to the public safety beat, with pieces on where the drugs in the Zanesville community come from, how lenient laws affect residents and how one judge holds parents responsible for the children’s school absences.

Judges said: Did you know heroin makes it to Zanesville by way of nearby Columbus? Or how about the fact that nearly 4 in 10 people stopped by Ohio police for operating a vehicle under the influence aren’t convicted of the offense? Reporter Patrick O’Neill shows a knack for tackling “talker” stories that help readers better understand what’s really happening in their community. His feature story about Zanesville firefighters is a nice change of pace to his harder-hitting stories.

To see the work:

Home News Tribune at East Brunswick (Finalist)
Ryan Dunleavy, reporter

For sports reporter Ryan Dunleavy’s coverage of the Rutgers football team that goes beyond the field and prompts readers to consider storylines they might not have otherwise.

Judges said: Football fans love the inside scoop of their favorite teams. Ryan Dunleavy tries to capitalize on that fervor by taking readers inside Rutgers’ transition year between the Big East and the Big Ten conferences. While fans are looking ahead, coaches and players are focusing on right now. He also takes readers inside the chaotic week between former coach Greg Schiano’s departure and when new coach Kyle Flood signed the highest-ranked recruiting class in school history.

The Leaf-Chronicle at Clarksville (Finalist)
Lester Black, reporter

For Lester Black’s reporting that digs beyond traditional City Council coverage to bring key issues such as zoning variances, liquor licenses and recycling to the forefront.

Judges said:Nothing gets people talking faster than liquor — or liquor licenses, in the case of Clarkville, Tenn. The city’s muddled liquor laws have created some problems, including the fact that the city doesn’t get any revenue if an owner decides to sell his license. Lester Black brings this issue and other issues — such as 98 percent of zoning variance requests being granted to developers — to light so that Clarksville residents are better informed about what’s happening in their community.

To see the work:
Recycling gallery:

Content Programming: Breaking News
This category is designed to reward smart, deliberate packaging and delivery of breaking news content. It’s important to note that “breaking news” can be spot events or big natural disasters, but it can also be news you break exclusively based on ongoing reporting. Judges will weigh three factors: 1) How the content was tailored for audiences on various platforms, as appropriate; 2) how the time of day and week influenced the editing choices and 3) how your team shaped the breaking news coverage to the specific concerns of each of your target audiences.

To illustrate the entry, these kinds of supporting documents can be submitted: clips from print, screen shots from tablet, phone and desktop editions, examples of email newsletters, social media interactions, etc. Describe the life cycle of the story and how your coverage changed as the story unfolded. Summarize for the judges how the content was “programmed” this to meet different reader needs at different times and across different platforms.


The Arizona Republic at Phoenix (Winner)

For sheer tonnage alone, the staff of the Arizona Republic deserves huzzahs for its comprehensive multiplatform coverage of the deadly and destructive Yarnell Hill wildfire.

Judges said: In a category brimming with superior examples of breaking news coverage, the Republic staff stood out for its endurance, tenacity, and determination to answer all questions regarding the loss of 19 fire fighters and 100 homes. It was an impressive display of resource deployment and digital mastery. It doesn’t get much better than this in planning and executing coverage for a huge story.

To see the work:

Detroit Free Press (Finalist)

For seamless coverage of a courthouse hearing that morphed into a citywide manhunt for an escaped inmate.

Judges said: Dogged and determined are apt words to describe the dramatic coverage of a courthouse escapee. The Free Press used Twitter, push alerts and mobile updates to ensure the commuting public had a photo of the fugitive, who had stabbed a sheriff’s deputy in the neck with a sharpened comb. Over the course of 14 hours, the staff updated the story with utmost care, amid rampant rumor and speculation. The judges want to praise online editors for keeping the fugitive’s photo up on the site and on Facebook, given that he was at large and dangerous. That was a public service. In all, a great day’s work at the Freep.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Finalist)

For comprehensive and on-their-toes coverage of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.

Judges said:As in most calendar quarters, this category had its share of natural and manmade disasters, and due consideration was given. But in Rochester’s entry, we saw something refreshingly different: a big-time, well-executed deadline response to a major sporting event unfolding in its community, that being one of professional golf’s premier tournaments. While the event was anticipated, the breaking news elements surrounding it were not. Answering questions in real time, the Democrat and Chronicle satisfied the mobile audience’s thirst for information from the tournament. Often, the urgent and deadline-driven work delivered by sports departments doesn’t receive much love in contests, but the judges felt Rochester’s entry cried out for recognition. It was masterful.

To see the work:


Fort Collins Coloradoan (Winner-Tie)

For coverage of unprecedented and widespread flood damage in a state that was besieged by fire a year ago.

Judges said: In a category with five strong contenders for first place, The Coloradoan claimed a share of the top spot by virtue of its hard-driving digital and print coverage of a natural disaster of dramatic proportions. The coverage was bold, ambitious, relentless and audience-centric. By dropping the pay meter, the Coloradoan provided a real public service. Thirty journalists galvanized to deliver a week’s worth of coverage for their immediate community and surrounding communities, making the Coloradoan the go-to media source. It’s the rare day, indeed, when a Division II site can generate 1 million page views in a day. Bravo, Fort Collins.

To see the work:

The Post-Crescent at Appleton (Winner-Tie)

For muscular reporting on tornadoes and damaging high winds, published during a period when a power outage shut down Appleton’s print facility for three days.

Judges said: Appleton is a co-winner in this robust category for being the leading source for cross-platform information during a period of dangerous and destructive weather. By turning off the pay meter, the entire community could turn to the site for essential updates on safety and shelter. The staff produced 25 videos and boosted traffic almost five times the normal rate, with a record number of mobile views. That’s 21st Century journalism, seemingly using every tool in their possession. This, while printing the newspaper off-site. Special praise is due for using Facebook as a means to report news, as well as generate real-time conversations with readers.

To see the work:

The Daily Times at Salisbury (Finalist)

For balancing compassion, urgency and objectivity while reporting on a campus shooting that resulted in two deaths at Salisbury University.

Judges said: Restraint ruled the day when the staff of the Daily Times discovered a string of angry tweets posted by a stalker before he wounded his ex-girlfriend in her apartment, killed her male companion and then fatally turned the gun on himself. As a second-day story about the incident that shocked the college community, the staff used Storify to publish select tweets from the gunman that exposed his rage and state of mind, without unduly sensationalizing the crime coverage.


The News-Star at Monroe (Winner)
Zack Southwell and Cole Avery, writers

For overcoming technology hurdles, including working from a location with spotty cell service, in ongoing reporting of a bank hostage situation that resulted in three deaths.

Judges said: We admired the continuous cross-platform content delivery and strategic planning. The News-Star owned this story from its police scanner start to the memorial service for bank employees killed when police raided the facility shortly after midnight. Reporters Zack Southwell and Cole Avery captured the drama and kept residents informed with updates every 30 minutes and breaking news as needed. Their solid work attracted the attention of national news organizations.

To see the work:

The Advocate at Newark (Finalist)

For energetic digging and hustle that resulted in a news break about gang-related indictments.

Judges said: We applaud reporter Bethany Bruner for exerting her will, quickly reviewing court records and taking control of a story of high interest to the community. With the help of online editors, The Advocate broke the story and owned it on all platforms.

To see the work:

The Daily News Journal at Murfreesboro (Finalist)
Christopher Merchant, multimedia journalist; Nancy DeGennaro, staff writer; Daily News Journal Editorial Board; Sandee Suitt, content director; Helen Comer, photographer

For diligence in pursuing a manhunt story that became a human- (and canine-) interest story.

Judges said: Responding to a shooting and subsequent manhunt, a police dog was overcome by heat exhaustion and wound up in critical condition after collapsing in 90-degree weather. As the search for the suspects continued, community attention turned to the imperiled dog. Readers were kept informed of the dog’s recovery, aided by a blood transfusion made possible by a shelter dog. An evocative photo gallery complemented the multimedia effort.

To see the work:

Content Programming: Planned Content
This category is designed to reward journalists for smart, deliberate packaging and delivery of planned coverage. The work rewarded in this category could range from how you present a recurring section to how, over all, you approach a passion topic or target audience is approached over a longer period. Judges will weigh three factors: 1) How the content was tailored for audiences on various platforms, as appropriate; 2) how the time of day and week influenced the editing choices and 3) how you connected the content to target audiences and passion topics. It’s important to note there will be cases where the smartest packaging and delivery for our readers did NOT have components on every single platform. Judges will look for precise and purposeful choices, which you should explain in the entry.

To illustrate the entry, these kinds of supporting documents can be submitted: clips from print, screen shots from tablet, phone and desktop editions, examples of email newsletters, social media interactions, etc.


The Des Moines Register (Winner)
Chad Leistikow, sports editor; Bryce Miller, sports columnist; Andy Hamilton, sports reporter

For an extrarodinary surge of advocacy journalism and passion-topic perfection on an effort to preserve wrestling as an Olympic sport and keep alive the hope that future Iowans will compete at the Games.

Judges said: So many of us set out to change the world when we entered the profession, but how many of us could actually say we did? Three Iowa journalists now can, thanks to a persistent seven-month effort to stand up for a sport that defines a state. What was so impressive about the Register’s effort to reinstate wrestling as an Olympic sport (after the International Olympic Committee dropped it) was the way it leveraged digital media to reach an audience well beyond the Midwest with videos, interactives and platform-perfect stories meant to inform and excite passions. Not surprisingly, the Register’s deadline reporting on the reinstatement vote (in Buenos Aires) led the pack. In a weighty category packed with great work from metro newsrooms, Des Moines came out on top.

To see the work:

The Tennessean at Nashville (Finalist)

For in-depth reporting on Nashville’s role in the emergence of the Civil Rights Movement, as told by eyewitnesses to history.

Judges said: The Tennessean turned the “first draft of history” adage on its head with an ambitious and detailed revisiting of one of the defining moments of the 20th Century. This polished and passionate eight-part series, culminating at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, deserves to be between covers of a book. The planning for this effort was exquisite, both digitally and in print. In doing so, the Tennessean staff proved our news operations are capable of tackling challenges that are well beyond the reach of other media. You could almost hear the big, beating heart of the Nashville newsroom while reading this important project.

To see the work:

The News-Press at Fort Myers (Finalist)
Frank Gluck and Andrea Rumbaugh, staff writers

For excellence in service journalism and public service with consumer-centric coverage of the countdown to the Affordable care Act and its impact on Floridians.

Judges said: The News-Press proved once again that knowledge is power with its clear-headed response to those in Florida whose aim was to derail (or even destroy) the Affordable Care Act. Beyond the one-two punch of stories on Sept. 15 and 16 that debunked false claims, The News-Press sponsored a community symposium on the health care law. Some 650 people attended and received a glossy 48-page magazine that served as the evening’s program. An entire region was served by the work prepared by reporters Gluck and Rumbaugh, who allowed the facts to speak and truth to triumph.

To see the work:


The Burlington Free Press (Winner)
Mike Donoghue, reporter

For strategic release of a previoulsy withheld dash-cam video of a DUI arrest involving Burlington’s deputy police chief.

Judges said: Burlington’s entry prompted us to revisit the contest category description, just to be certain this example of tenacity and great timing met the eligibility requirements. Sure enough, time of day and day of week matter in this category, so hats off to the Free Press for a bit of brilliance for sending out a push alert (and posts on Facebook and Twitter) just as the local 6 p.m. TV news blinked on. The Free Press beat local TV at its own game with this exclusive video of a trusted lawman being pulled over by a state trooper. Doing so ignited online debate and displeasure with police for withholding the video. It’s one thing to have the goods. It’s another thing these days to know exactly when to share what you have with news consumers. The video knocked the Birkenstocks off some Vermonters, thanks to a defense attorney who suggested to reporter Mike Donoghue that the video casts doubt on the arrest. That residents could see for themselves is the First Amendment in action.

To see the work:

Poughkeepsie Journal (Finalist)
Mike Benischek, sports editor; Dan Pietrafesa, Players section coordinator; Irwin Goldberg, digital editor; Chris Cusamano, interactive developer; Sean T. McMann, sports reporter

For crazy-good coverage of the Dutchess County Classic run, before, during and after the event.

Judges said: Many communities have annual road races for disgustingly fit runners with low BMI scores, and we all do our thing advancing and covering such events. But if you want to learn how to put a 21st Century spin on covering a regional race, ask the team in Poughkeepsie. About the only element left out of their coverage was a shot showing what the race looked like from the International Space Station. The multiplatform content gave evidence of some serious “what-if” brainstorming, and the execution of those ideas was superb.

To see the work:

The Post-Crescent at Appleton (Finalist)

For a full embrace — and thoroughly planned coverage — of Appleton’s “Mile of Music” festival.

Judges said: The Post-Crescent did itself proud with pitch-perfect coverage of a new music festival that brought 100 bands to town. With passion topic consumers in mind, the staff launched strategically timed content that helped build awareness for an event that involved 40 downtown venues. It was a combination of helpful service journalism, beckoning entertainment coverage and good, old-fashioned drum-beating for a festival that enhanced life in Wisconsin. Why should we stand idle and let our towns lose their mojo? Better that we celebrate and draw attention to what’s new and good. Well done, Appleton.

To see the work:


Hattiesburg American (Winner)

For effective game plans in covering an election fraud trial and the ensuing special election for mayor.

Judges said: The Hattiesburg staff effectively used every implement in their digital toolbox to keep readers informed about an inflammatory court case (which ended in a mistrial) and a special election to elect town’s mayor. Solid strategic planning resulted in an engaged and informed audience. The print coverage in this stand-out entry provided entertaining reading. (Someday we want to find out whose job it was to awaken the judge from his mid-trial nap.)

To see the work:

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The News-Star at Monroe (Finalist)

For big-time coverage of local high school and college football.

Judges said: In some areas of the country football is religion. And so it should be no surprise that the News-Star staff produced an almost biblical season preview for football fans with its 112-page insert, bulky enough to crush a small pet if the pigskin preview fell off the coffee table. The Monroe staff followed with high-energy coverage when the season kicked off, leveraging all digital assets. The judges saw a number of entries touting high school sports coverage. This one was was the topper. It’s as if the staff said, “Forget what we did last season. This year has to be bigger, bolder, better.”

News Journal at Mansfield (Finalist)
Rob McCurdy, reporter

For a well-planned series of stories leading up to the inaugural Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200.

Judges said: McCurdy was the conduit through which race fans in Central Ohio got the inside track on a new Nationwide Series race. Through text and video, McCurdy provided sumptuous coverage. It is clear that he and his editors gave considerable thought to this coverage, since every conceivable angle was addressed.

To see the work:

Narrative Writing/Voice
This category recognizes outstanding writing from any coverage area. The category honors powerful and tightly written news and feature stories as well as columns, blogs, profiles, longer narratives and any examples of evocative writing regardless of platform.

The work will exhibit strong subject knowledge and be based upon complete and sometimes analytical reporting. Key components will typically be clarity, a sense of place, context and detail. Where appropriate, characters will be well-developed and pacing will lead readers through longer pieces. The writing may move readers emotionally, prompt them to think or drive them to act.

An entry consists of work by the same author on no more than three stories. (In this definition, “story” is not necessarily confined to a single day; coverage of a story can span any period during the quarter.) Submissions can include different forms of writing done on these stories, including social media or other short-form supplements.


The Cincinnati Enquirer (Winner)
Paul Daugherty, sports columnist

For Paul Daugherty’s well-written profile of former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Reggie Williams, who is part of a class-action lawsuit against the NFL seeking compensation for playing-related injuries, and is also facing the possibility of losing his knee after multiple infections and surgeries.

Judges said: It would have been easy to localize a story about a lawsuit. Instead, Daugherty wrote a layered and nuanced portrait of a man who, with career over and faced with a major medical problem, is fighting for justice he can’t define. The writing is crisp and clever.

To see the work:

The Tennessean at Nashville (Finalist)
Brian Haas, reporter

For Brian Haas’ compelling feature about a mother who discovered her missing son had been murdered 15 years earlier and buried, unbeknownst to her, in a pauper’s grave in Nashville.

Judges said: Brian Haas told a powerful and compassionate story about a mother’s search for closure. It brought attention to an issue — thousands of people who die in Nashville with no money to pay for a funeral — through the eyes of one woman’s experience. The writing was great and the reporter’s pacing led the story to a strong conclusion.

To see the work:

The News Journal at Wilmington (Finalist)
Esteban Parra, staff writer

For Esteban Parra’s thorough reconstruction of a fatal crash on a snowy Nebraska road, and how Delaware’s failure to track one parolee contributed to it.

Judges said: Parra did a great job at tracing the intersection of two lives until they ultimately crashed. The back-and-forth structure took readers through the story of both the Curry family and Leamond Pierce and sought to hold officials accountable for allowing a parolee they were supposed to be tracking to leave the state.

To see the work:


The Greenville News (Winner)
Lyn Riddle, reporter

For Lyn Riddle’s compelling feature about a brother and sister — the latter who was adopted at birth — who met for the first time in their 60s.

Judges said: Taken together, Lyn Riddle’s thorough reporting and empathetic writing created a touching profile of a family reunited that left this judge near tears — more than once. Her pacing, syntax and narration are stellar. Riddle knows when to offer information and when to hold back, leading to a satisfying emotional conclusion. Fantastic work.

The Clarion-Ledger at Jackson, Miss. (Finalist)
Emily Le Coz, investigative reporter; Joe Ellis, videographer

For Emily Le Coz’s well-written story about an autistic man who learned to communicate with his mother after more than 20 years of living in silence.

Judges said: Emily Le Coz grabbed the reader from the beginning with a well-crafted lede. The details she included are the result of in-depth reporting and creative interviewing, and her description of autism brought a very complex and misunderstood condition directly to readers. Story did not have as compelling a conclusion as the winning entry; judges wished the reporter would have saved some of the most emotional details of mother and son’s connection until the end. Overall, though, a great piece.

To see the work:

Lansing State Journal (Finalist)
Louise Knott Ahern, reporter

For Louise Knott Ahern’s brave and emotional story of a woman, herself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, who started a foundation to help other survivors get counseling.

Judges said: Louise Knott Ahern makes narrative writing look easy. She understands pacing and structure, and writes with a distinct voice. Her use of the stargazing metaphor furthered the story and never felt forced. Great work in not only recognizing the story when she found it, but in making the profile subject feel comfortable enough to share such personal details publicly.

The Daily Times at Salisbury (Finalist)
Brian Shane, reporter

For Brian Shane’s compelling reconstruction of a fatal drunken driving accident that killed a pedestrian. Shane interviewed families of both the driver and the victim, and used the driver’s own letters, to weave a thorough portrait of two people whose lives were forever changed.

Judges said: Brian Shane wrote a gripping story that held the judges’ attention from beginning to end. His use of interviews and documents (including court records and the driver’s letters) turned up many vivid details that gave the story life. A correction unfortunately held the story back from contending for first place, but the judges felt the story was powerful enough that it deserved to be recognized.


Daily World at Opelousas (Winner)
Evan Moore, city editor

For Evan Moore’s hugely compelling tale of respected Lafayette Parish attorney Ray Mouton and how his defense of a pedophile Catholic priest caused him to lose his family and his faith.

Judges said: In one word: Wow. Fantastic writing on an emotionally charged issue. Evan Moore spared no details in the writing, giving readers a deep look inside the life of attorney Ray Mouton, the heinous crimes of Father Gilbert Gauthe and the consistent failings of the church to address the issue.

To see the work:

Lancaster Eagle-Gazette (Finalist)
Jim Sabin, managing editor

For managing editor Jim Sabin’s feature about a brother who was determined to visit the grave of his brother, who had died and was buried in England. Sabin’s chance meeting the Jim Pinkerton in 2011 is where this story begins.

Judges said: It can be a challenge to write a first-person piece that puts the focus entirely on a third person. But that’s just what Jim Sabin did in “A Brother’s Mission.” Sabin combined his own recollections of his initial encounter with Jim Pinkerton with interviews with Pinkerton and the superintendent of Cambridge American Cemetery in England. The storytelling is smooth and the details are rich.

Oshkosh Northwestern (Finalist)
Adam Rodewald, reporter

For reporter Adam Rodewald’s story on a 2008 cold case in which the victim is still unidentified, and the additional challenge that presents to investigators.

Judges said: Great, descriptive writing. “Snow began to fall as the sun set on the first day of the rest of the case. Investigators have remained in the dark since.” Adam Rodewald strings together details of the discovery of a Jane Doe in 2008 with an interview with the investigator on the case from the outset. This was a strong and well-written piece.

To see the work:

Short form writing/voice
As we package and promote more of our content in smaller snapshots, short-form writing is critical. This award is designed to recognize a distinctive voice as expressed through short-form written text. Examples of short-form writing include text messages, push alerts, headlines, packaging in e-mail newsletters and activity on social media channels, to name several. The work submitted is not confined to any one of these. The work may be from a single journalist, or may be from more than one journalist. Judges will be looking for clarity, precision and brevity. But they will also be looking for a distinctive voice that helps set the journalist or the news organization apart from competitors and connects with target audiences. An entry can include between three and 10 samples.

The Des Moines Register (Winner)
Kyle Munson, columnist

For Kyle Munson’s hilarious and snarky observations from the Iowa State Fair.

Judges said: In case you don’t know, the Iowa State Fair is a BIG deal. And nothing is bigger than the butter cow. Especially when it’s been vandalized. Kyle Munson, in the words of his nominator, “provided updates from the fair in a way only Kyle can. For traditionalists, he was respectful of the cow’s lore, but he was also cognizant of the absurdity of the story.” That was the overall feeling we got from all of his fair coverage.

To see the work:

The Journal News at Westchester (Finalist)
Ned P. Rauch, staff writer

For Ned P. Rausch’s fun look at the wildly swinging temperatures in New York in mid-September.

Judges said: No, not another weather story! Ned P. Rausch found an entertaining way to write about the hot and cold weather swings everyone was talking about in Westchester. He used his knowledge of the communities to write a snappy, pithy comparison of summer and fall activities in the region.

To see the work:

FLORIDA TODAY at Brevard (Finalist)
Emre Kelly, digital producer

For Emre Kelly’s Facebook posts that capture the Space Coast’s sense of place and draw reader interaction.

Judges said: Facebook is all about interaction, and Emre Kelly’s approach to posting does exactly that. Short, conversational posts on topics of interest for Space Coast readers played strongly on this platform. A particularly successful post included a stunning photo of a rocket shooting into the night sky. The post: “If there’s one photo that summarizes the Space Coast, it might just be this one.” The post had 274 shares.


Fort Collins Coloradoan (Winner)
Paul Berry, engagement editor

For Paul Berry’s use of Facebook during historic September flooding.

Judges said: Berry was the clear winner for his cultivation of Facebook to be not only a place to share information, but also to create a conversation. Photographs were compelling. Links took readers to the latest updates. The text shared useful details (road closures and tips on building an emergency kit) and also was well-written. Reporters and other staffers engaged with readers, answering questions and sharing additional links. A great way to build community around breaking news.

To see the work:

Press & Sun-Bulletin at Binghamton (Finalist)

For work by the staff of the Press & Sun-Bulletin, which owned Twitter coverage during President Obama’s visit to Binghamton University. Staff created a hashtag that was picked up by users outside the newsroom, and tweets included both text and photos from Obama’s speech and from around the community.

Judges said: Few things are better for real-time sharing of information than Twitter. The staff at the Press & Sun-Bulletin recognized this early when President Obama planned a visit to town. Their work was timely, informative, interesting and at times humorous. Above all, it kept readers engaged.

To see the work:

Great Falls Tribune (Finalist)
Kristen Inbody, features writer; Erin Madison, outdoors writer

For Kristen Inbody’s and Erin Madison’s knowledge of both their beats and social media for sharing photos and updates from Montana’s outdoors.

Judges said: Not only are the photos beautiful and the captions enticing, but the reporters’ tweets really reflect an understanding of the beat. Readers know if they want information about nature or the outdoors around Montana, Inbody and Madison are it.

To see the work:


The Jackson Sun at Jackson, Tenn. (Winner)
Megan Smith, photographer

For photographer Megan Smith’s posts on Twitter that capture a sense of community, through both her words and images.

Judges said: Megan Smith clearly sees herself as part of the Jackson community with the conversational tone in her tweets. She shows pieces of her own personality, while also resonating with readers. Our favorite tweet (accompanied by a photo): “When a WWII veteran tells you to sit in his massage chair, you sit in the damn massage chair. #adorablyawkward”

To see the work:

The Advocate at Newark (Finalist)
Michael Lehmkuhle, multimedia editor

For Michael Lehmkuhle’s feature called Finding Faces, a digital effort that seeks readers’ help in captioning old photos. Lehmkuhle effectively moderates the conversation.

Judges said: Finding Faces in a fun web feature that engages readers in the captioning photos from Newark’s archives. Michael Lehmkuhle’s short descriptions are light-hearted and invite reader participation. A fantastic idea for boosting reader engagement.

To see the work:

Media Network of Central Ohio (Finalist)
Melissa Ramaley, digital editor

For a selection of Melissa Ramaley’s Facebook posts that reflect an understanding on the community and the medium.

Judges said: Digital producer Melissa Ramaley has mastered the art of tone when it comes to Facebook posts. Some are fun; others are newsy; still others call for action by readers. A specific example that exhibits the power of social media: “Have you seen these teens? Bryce Green, 15, and Daesean Dalton, 13, were last seen on Friday at the Colony Square Mall. Share to help bring them home.” This post was shared 831 times.

Submissions may consist of a single photo or photo gallery, or of a collection of work. Photos can illustrate all subject areas covered by the newsroom, but judges will add particular weight to coverage that ties directly to passion topics or the needs of target audiences. Photos should tell the news at a glance, convey emotion, drama and personality, and give audience members a sense of place. Photo galleries may contain music or dialogue.

This category recognizes work by an individual. A collection could come from coverage of an event or a story or could showcase a staffer’s work over time. Please limit the submission to photo coverage of no more than three stories. (In this definition, “story” is not necessarily confined to a single day; coverage of a story can span any period during the quarter.)


The Arizona Republic (Winner)

A June 30 firestorm in Yarnell, Ariz., took the lives of 19 firefighters and practically displaced an entire community — anguished, not knowing if they had homes any longer. The photo journalists of the Arizona Republic became their eyes.

Judges said: This group entry shows how a set of technically skilled, committed journalists can tell a deeply complex story affecting an entire community. The volume and consistent quality of this body of work made this entry an instant standout. Responding to the constantly changing directions of this kind of news event, while confronting obstacles and emotions had to be done with a great deal of focus and care while also looking for the details that helped tell the story. The photo of the “Welcome to Yarnell” sign that frames the fire behind it was the perfect first shot with which to begin this tragic story. The description for this photo in the entry form said it best: “Thick smoke casts an inky, premature twilight over a roadside welcome sign boasting ‘Where the desert breeze meets the mountain air.'” From then on the storytelling never stopped, from the fire itself, to the frustrated residents looking for answers and all the way through to the heartbreaking memorial for the firefighters whose lives were lost.

Democrat and Chronicle at Rochester (Finalist)
Jamie Germano, photographer

In these photos from Jamie Germano of the Democrat and Chronicle, his ability to capture peak action to tell the story behind the story is apparent throughout coverage of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.

Judges said: The standout photo of pro golfer Adam Scott as he watched his shot on the 17th fairway, in the rain, is a testament to Germano’s skills as a sports photographer and storyteller. The split-second moment of the golfer’s eager, focused look towards the ball captured a moment that could have been easily lost if it weren’t for Germano’s skill and trained eye. Germano also turned his camera to the spectators and focused on them to tell the rest of the story. Not content to merely shoot a crowd in order to show the vast number of spectators present, he included a detailed shot that showed a line of parked bicycles so numerous they appeared to trail off into infinity.

The Indianapolis Star (Finalist)
Matt Detrich, staff photographer

For coverage of a community mourning the tragic death of one its police officers. Matt Detrich captured a difficult time for family and friends while showing sensitivity and respect for their grief — never compromising his job as storyteller.

Judges said: The story of the family’s grief and that of the officer’s precinct were interwoven to produce both sides of the story. Wide, closeup and detail shots all helped to capture and convey the range of emotions. Standout photos included a head-on shot of the casket being carried while a stoic looking young women walked behind, capturing a moment fraught with emotion. The judges were also struck by a wide-angle shot at the funeral of the family surrounded by the attending officers, huge trees looming over them and soft light peering through the branches. Because he took the time to step back and see a shot like this one is a reason Detrich is a finalist.

To see the work:


The Burlington Free Press (Winner)
Ryan Mercer, multimedia editor

For coverage of a young woman being rescued from Browns River.

Judges said: Mercer captured the power of emotion, fear and refuge in this series of photos from a river rescue. Mercer was at the scene at the time of the event and captured images as it unfolded. The cover image is beautiful — captivating and also simple. Mercer’s ability to capture a moment of intimacy between the woman and her rescuer takes a keen sense of instinct and judgment. Mercer said his only lighting was from a high-powered flashlight, which aids to the drama of this photo. Mercer also won top prize in the video category for his coverage of this same story, which underscores his versatility and craftsmanship.

Reno Gazette-Journal (Finalist)
Andy Barron, photographer

For a series of photos depicting the Burning Man festival.

Judges said: Andy Barron’s photos put the reader in the Black Rock Desert at the Burning Man Festival. The collection captures the uniqueness, energy and culture of the festival. It describes the personality of the festival participants.

To see the work:

Argus Leader at Sioux Falls (Finalist)
Jay Pickthorn, staff photographer

For a series of photos depicting the day-to-day life of a South Dakota rancher who uses a wheelchair.

Judges said: These photos are strong enough to stand alone without a story. They are a good example of an environmental portrait which catches the essense of a subject in his natural setting. A good portrait explains who the subject of the photo is through meaning and emotion. These photos do that, telling the story of a man who has overcome his physical limitations and continues to lead a successful life. They capture the emotion of Billie Sutton, as well as the people he interacts with.

To see the work:


The Californian at Salinas (Winner)
Jay Dunn, multimedia reporter

For Jay Dunn’s photojournalism that beautifully captures members of the Yaocuauhtli “Eagle Warrior” family as they practice the respect their Aztec ancestors taught was central to a harmonious existence.

Judges said: Dunn’s colorful and vibrant work captured a community coming together to celebrate its ancient culture through ritual and dance. Dunn accomplished this through artistic, engaging storytelling. The online audio slideshow is a welcome additional layer of storytelling that supports the already stellar visual reporting.

To see the work:

Times Recorder at Zanesville (Finalist)
Chris Crook, photographer

For an inside look at the life of a 2-year-old girl born without legs.

Judges said: Photojournalist Chris Cook perfectly captured the exuberant spirit of a 2-year-old girl who just happens to not have any legs. At times you almost forget about Paige Calendine’s handicap as she goes about being an active and happy child. In fact, in the first photo viewed by the judges we were taken aback when we realized her legs were separate from her body, the prosthetics standing beside her. That’s the kind of subtle and emotional hook that grabs the reader and tells the story.

The News Leader at Staunton (Finalist)
David Fritz, executive editor

For participant observation coverage of a journalist’s church-related mission trip to Haiti.

Judges said: David Fritz must know his way around Haiti. He photographs the island and its inhabitants in such a way that you feel he’s taking you on a personal tour. The photographs offer a glimpse into a world that most readers might not ever get to see. The work is engaging, technically precise and creative.

To see the work:

Video journalism
Where video was previously combined with photojournalism, it now stands in its own category. Judges will be looking for great storytelling, which could range from breaking news to features to mini-documentaries. They will also weigh technical aspects of the video, including sound, lighting and editing choices. This category is not just the province of video specialists with high-end gear; judges understand that reporters who produce videos on their iPhones can create compelling video storytelling too.

A submission can be from one or more journalists. It can comprise a minimum of one and a maximum of five videos. If appropriate please briefly explain how the videos submitted tie to target audiences and passion topics.


The Cincinnati Enquirer (Winner)
Glenn Hartong and Carrie Cochran, photojournalists

For coverage of a dramatic, heart-wrenching marriage ceremony between an ALS-afflicted man and his partner of 20 years, performed aboard a medical aircraft right after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Judges said: This mini-documentary is a wonderful piece of journalism and worth every second of your time. Equal rights is an historic movement. The storytelling was powerful, moving and emotional, as well as heartwarming and heartbreaking. Bittersweet. Personal. It immediately captured our attention with crisp visuals and audio, and television quality. It has strong storytelling through interviews with Jim and John expressing their love for each other. We were left in tears after watching this beautiful story.

To see the work:

The Des Moines Register (Finalist)
Christopher Gannon, Rodney White and Charlie Litchfield, photographers

For a four-part interview with a Vietnam War veteran about his path to healing over the past 37 years.

Judges said: The tight shots of the veteran’s face and two-camera technique captured his raw emotion. The simplicity of shots was all that was needed. The story is told in the sadness of the subject’s eyes and the wrinkles on his face.

Democrat and Chronicle at Rochester (Finalist)
Max Schulte, assistant photo editor

This video chronicled George Eastman’s beginning through the boom of Kodak to its bankruptcy and innovative spirit that came out of its troubles.

Judges said: This video focused on one of the Democrat and Chronicle’s passion topics of innovation and entrepreneurship that tied in to an 8-page special section for Eastman Kodak. It worked across all platforms to reach diverse audiences of the baby-boomers who read the print product and young adults who go digital.

To see the work:

Military Times (Finalist)
Colin Kelly, senior video journalist

For a report on child abuse in the military.

Judges said: This topic is shocking, but also something that needs to be addressed in our society because of the veterans coming back from war. Colin Kelly tells the story of those whose children have been hurt by child abuse. He uses video interviews, photos and statistics to create compelling storytelling. Putting a face to the children affected by this problem connects the viewer to the story. The distilled essence of the problem and the emotion it captures were vital to this report.

To see the work: Vimeo link:


Reno Gazette-Journal (Winner)
Liz Margerum, video editor

For video documenting the sex trafficking life in Reno

Judges said: This graphic, intimate video exposes sex trafficking in Reno. It is a crime no one wants to think about. Girls as young as 11 and 12 are forced to have sex for money. This exposes the stories of two women who were the victims of exploitation at an early age, as well as a police officer who works to advocate for freeing victims of this life. Environmental shots set the scene and sense of place in Reno. Interviews captures the sadness, fear and feelings of worthlessness victims feel. The video moves at a quick pace to keep the viewer engaged.

To see the work:

The Burlington Free Press (Finalist)
Ryan Mercer, multimedia editor

For Ryan Mercer’s breaking news video of a woman being rescued from a river.

Judges said: Mercer gives readers a sense of drama in difficult circumstances. The editing of this video was effective, going between interviews of the rescuer and witness to the scene of the incident. Mercer uses his instincts to capture this breaking news event, and focuses on the victim whose blood-curdling screams you can hear. Mercer captures the drama and emotion of the event with clear audio and video. Mercer also won top prize in the photo category for his coverage of this same story, which underscores his versatility and craftsmanship.

Asheville Citizen-Times (Finalist)
Erin Brethauer, multimedia editor

For Erin Brethauer’s videos that capture the personality and diversity of Asheville citizens.

Judges said: This was community journalism done right. Brethauer captures eclectic personalities with humor, wit and innovation. Starting out each profile with creative detail shots and alternative angles of a subject is a nice touch, and provides the viewer with a sense of place and personality. These videos showcase the diverse and artistic nature of the town and left the judges with smiles on our faces.

To see the work:


The News Leader at Staunton (Winner)
Katie Currid, photographer

For a Katie Currid’s profiles of Uncle Sam, a bowler who has bowled 35 perfect games and of a balloon festival.

Judges said: Currid starts out each video with tight detail shots that draw the viewer into the story and serve as teasers to the subjects. The tight editing and snappy-quick shots hold the viewer’s attention. You can tell Currid doubles as a photographer based on her picturesque details. She shoots her videos at angles you would not expect.

Times Recorder at Zanesville (Finalist)
Hannah Sparling, staff reporter

For Hannah Sparling’s coverage of a two-year old born without legs.

Judges said: The video for this was a nice addition to a larger package submitted in the photojournalism category. It is one thing to hear Paige’s parents talk about their daughter being born without legs, but another to see Paige doing the activities of a normal two-year old. It captures the struggles and accomplishments of having a two-year old born with a disability. For an iPhone video, this is great quality with good lighting and audio.

To see the work:

The Daily Advertiser at Lafayette, La. (Finalist)
Kris Wartelle, community and features reporter

This video tells the story of a young boy who is deaf and will likely become blind due to an illness that is found mostly in people with Acadian heritage.

Judges said: This is a nice example of a story that captures the essence of a subject through meaning and emotion. This is also very good quality for an iPhone video with equalized audio and clear visuals.

To see the work:

This category recognizes print or digital design or presentation. A premium will be placed on conveying information and subject understanding through design. An entry should be bold and eye-catching as well as clear and easy to navigate. The tone of the design should be appropriate for the subject and the context of the work being showcased.

Both print and digital page design will be considered. Individual pages as well as sections and packages will be considered. An entry consists of a single piece of work or a collection of work by an individual or a team.


Asbury Park Press (Winner)
Suzanne Palma, art director

For coverage of a six-alarm fire on a six-block stretch of a Jersey boardwalk which was in the midst of being rebuilt after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Judges said: Everything about this package (photo, headline and design) came together for a stellar piece of journalism made even stronger by the decision to turn the photograph on its side for a panoramic look at the devastation. This special treatment gave the photo the kind of emotional impact that resonates with readers and also moves single-copy sales. This poster treatment not only had visual impact, the well-designed package of refers provided layers of information while also directing readers to inside pages. The restrained use of color and typography served to not detract from the photograph and, in fact, furthered the emotional hook of the package. Considering the fire happened late in the day the judges were also impressed by what must have been incredible hustle of the newsroom, photography and design staffs to meet a tight deadline while pushing forward with a non-standard design treatment for breaking news. NOTE: The Asbury Park Pess and Asbury Park Design Studio both earned citations for this work.

The Arizona Republic at Phoenix (Finalist)
Phoenix staff and Phoenix Design Studio staff

Republic editors and designers from the Phoenix Design Studio and the AZ tablet magazine team worked closely to craft compelling work during the tragic Yarnell Hill fire that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters and devastated a community.

Judges said: The consistency in the quality of the design work over multiple days of coverage is striking. The style and tone of each day is cohesive and never overdone, giving room for the photos to do their part to tell the story. This could be no small accomplishment, considering the tight deadlines involved. Details like the band of small mugs of the 19 firefighters whose lives where claimed by the fire across the top of the A1 package on the day of the memorial — with the headline ‘I miss my brothers’ — was not only a nice emotional touch but also a way to visually refer to the individual firefighter memorials on inside pages. This is an example of journalism that is tightly woven into the community it serves, reporting important news and striking an emotional chord with readers. NOTE: The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Design Studio both earned citations for this work.

Democrat and Chronicle at Rochester (Finalist)
Joanne Sosangelis, creative director

For the Democrat and Chronicle’s keepsake, eight-page special section on Kodak emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

This special section is a perfect example that good design doesn’t only draw readers into a story but can help shape the story itself. By trusting and collaborating with Asbury Park Design Studio creative director Joanne Sosangelis, the Democrat and Chronicle delivered in innovative, creative and very satisfying ways to tell a story that is essential in the Rochester community. Sosangelis’ illustration idea for the cover was not just an attractive piece of art, it also brought focus to the entire project by latching on to an important question: What’s next? The maps, graphics, pull quotes, all the usual devices that help to tell a story were employed to their best effects in a format easy to grasp and pleasing to look at. NOTE: The Democrat and Chronicle and Asbury Park Design Studio both earned citations for this work.


The Burlington Free Press (Winner)

A daring river rescue was captured live by a Burlington Free Press photographer and showcased on the cover in a design showing the restraint befitting the spectacular photograph.

Judges said: Designers have any number of options when it comes to the tools they use in their work. They have color palettes, typography treatments, dramatic photo crops and much more. But there’s tool more important than the others — restraint. A designer who can stay out of the way of the story is a designer is in command of the craft. This cover design from Abigail Westcott, news designer at the Asbury Park Design Studio, is a perfect example that great design comes from putting the story and storytelling above all else. She recognized that she had a special photograph and she let that image speak for itself. Simple, clean, restrained design was the best way to tell this story, an option a lot of designers might overlook. NOTE: The Burlington Free Press and Asbury Park Design Studio both earned citations for this work.

Poughkeepsie Journal (Finalist)
Jose Soto, sports designer at the Asbury Park Design Studio, in collaboration with Dan Pietrafesa, Players section coordinator at the Poughkeepsie Journal

These two Players pages, “Classic Countdown” and “Burning off the hot dogs,” showcase the importance of giving readers useful information in a visually arresting format.

Judges said: In “Burning off the hot dogs,” the clever and humorous use of the hot dog eating contest as a jumping off point to impart information about calorie count and exercise is the kind of work that you can imagine being shared by readers with their friends, families and coworkers. It’s a talker. This page is a perfect example of what can result from both style and substance. What could have just been an info box or list, in the hands of a talented designer and in collaboration with an open-minded newsroom, turned into something much more visual, but more importantly, informative. You can practically hear someone saying, “I can’t believe you would have to jump rope for half an hour to burn off a couple of hot dogs!” Ditto for the “Classic Countdown” cover. Design meets function for a design that is sophisticated in its execution and indispensable for someone looking to get more information about the annual half-marathon. The theme of circles throughout the design represents the cyclical nature of the course. The focal point, three illustrated racers, has spokes that create the illusion of movement while directing readers’ eyes to key details about the race. It’s all in the details. NOTE: The Poughkeepsie Journal and Jose Soto, sports designer at the Asbury Park Design Studio, both earned citations for this work.

The Daily Times at Salisbury (Finalist)
Joe Moore and Eduardo Alvarez, Asbury Park designers
Shawn Yonker, Earl Holland, Daily Times sportswriters

For a magazine-style design of Salisbury’s high school football preview special section.

Judges said: High school football previews are an important part of the service provided to readers of most any community, but when you put this much work and collaboration into a package you know the team behind it is serious about their passion topics. At first glance you know that The Daily Times values local sports. You don’t luck into this kind of design. The attention to detail both in the photograph and the design could only come from careful planning and collaboration between designers Joe Moore and Eduardo Alvarez and the sports team in Salisbury. Both elegant and bold, this cover tells the reader right away that this is something special. We suspect the readers loved it and held on to it well beyond the publication date. NOTE: The Daily Times and Asbury Park Design Studio both earned citations for this work.


The News Leader at Staunton (Winner)
Merry Eccles, designer, Nashville Design Studio

For a front page about the stress of being a 911 dispatcher.

Judges said: Merry Eccles uses display type from an actual Stauton 911 call to tell the story. This typographic approach conveys the story in a compelling way because of the bizarreness of the phone call. After one reads the line about the caller wanting two sausage biscuits, one wants to keep reading to know what is going on. NOTE: The News Leader and Nashville Design Studio both earned citations for this work.