2017 Diamond Journalism Awards Winners List

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists presented its 2017 Diamond Journalism Awards on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at Flying Saucer in Little Rock.

The awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. The awards honor work published or broadcast between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

This year’s competition included 64 entries and was judged by journalists from the Florida Pro Chapter of SPJ.

ONLINE DIVISION

VIDEO

1st Place: Stephen Thornton, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Flooding along the Black River.”

2nd Place: Kirsten Pieri May, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University for “Paragould man keeps blacksmithing tradition alive.”

3rd Place: Stephen Thornton, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Broadway Bridge aerial tour.”

PHOTO SLIDESHOW

1st Place: Jillian Kremer, Arkansas Online for “Little Rock homicide map.”

2nd Place: Jacob Kauffman, KUAR Public Radio for “Women’s March in Little Rock.”

3rd Place: Brandon Riddle, Arkansas Online for “Restaurants to come in Little Rock/North Little Rock.”

MULTIMEDIA PROJECT

1st Place: Jackson Carter, University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Mass Communication for “Forgotten – An In-Depth Investigation into the Arkansas Foster Care System.”

2nd Place: Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Deadly Force.”

3rd Place: Emma Pettit, Arkansas Online, for “Loss of funding for DNA testing raises costs, concerns for Arkansas police agencies.

BLOGS

1st Place: Syd Hayman, Only in Arkansas for “Former Stax owner Al Bell a pioneer in soul music.”

PRINT DIVISION

EDITORIALS (All print)

1st Place: David Barham, Paul Greenberg, Walter Hussman Jr., Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for editorials about Arkansas’ first executions in decades.

2nd Place: Jonathan Feldman, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark., for “Reforming probation,” “No cash cow in Sherwood” and “Russian roulette.”

3rd Place: Rick Kron, Jonathan Feldman, Garrick Feldman, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark., for the editorials “Bad Writing,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Little Things.”

COMMENTARY (Daily newspapers)

1st Place: John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a portfolio of his regular columns.

2nd Place: Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a portfolio of his opinion pieces.

COMMENTARY (Non-daily newspapers)

1st Place: Rick Kron, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark., for “Christmas,” “Pokemon” and “Mom.”

2nd Place: Garrick Feldman, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark., for “FBI bares spying by Russians,” “Assault on free speech” and “Retracing history to Budapest.”

3rd Place: Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for her “That’s Life” columns, specifically, “Remembering people of 9/11 15 years later,” “Getting ready for new role as grandmother” and “Keeping granddogs is a test.”

HARD NEWS (Daily newspapers)

1st Place: Andrew DeMillo, Kelly P. Kissel, Sean Murphy, Jill Bleed, Tafi Mukunyadzi, The Associated Press for coverage of Arkansas’ executions.

2nd Place: Thomas Gounley, Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader for “The man who reinvented meth.”

3rd Place, TIE:

* Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for coverage of the state’s first executions since 2005.

* Noel Oman, Chris Bahn, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Bridge falls … after a bit.”

 HARD NEWS (Non-daily newspapers)

1st Place: Tammy Keith, Three Rivers Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Augusta paying 2 superintendent salaries.”

2nd Place: Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Emergency need: Faulkner County 911 upgrade due; funds sought.”

HARD NEWS (Magazines)

1st Place: Jordan Hickey, Arkansas Life for “What Lies Beneath.”

2nd Place: Wyndham Wyeth, Arkansas Life for “Moment to Moment.”

FEATURE (Daily newspapers)

1st Place: Hunter Field, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Flood victims still in it knee-deep.”

2nd Place: Ellis Widner, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Into the void.”

3rd Place: Shea Stewart, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Hope’s ‘Hidden Figure.’”

FEATURE (Non-daily newspapers)

1st Place: Sarah DeClerk, Health Beat/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Distinctly dashing.”

2nd Place: Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “ ‘They’re heroes’: Firefighters save woman from floodwaters.”

3rd Place: Sarah DeClerk, Three Rivers Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Sharing the gift.”

FEATURE (Magazines)

1st Place: Jordan Hickey, Arkansas Life for “Maiden Voyage.”

2nd Place: Mariam Makatsaria, Arkansas Life for “The First Step.”

3rd Place: Sarah DeClerk, Health Beat/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Taking notes.”

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (All print)

1st Place: Kara Harnett, Stone Selso, Olivia Moyers, Katelyn Mary Skaggs, Breanne Bleichroth, The Southeast Arrow for “Accounting for Assault.”

2nd Place: Lisa Hammersly, Brian Fanney, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Cash & The Court.”

3rd Place: Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Deadly Force.”

SPORTS (All print)

1st Place: Johnny Carrol Sain, Arkansas Life for “Forbidden.”

2nd Place: Jeremy Muck, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Blocking out pain.”

3rd Place: Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Groundbreaking Hog.” 

POLITICS (All print)

1st Place: Michael Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Legislators’ paid trips.”

2nd Place: John Moritz, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Lee-King holiday split clears vote.”

3rd Place: Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press for a portfolio of political coverage.

PHOTOGRAPHY (Daily newspapers)

1st Place: Jill Bleed, The Associated Press for “Ten Commandments destroyed.”

2nd Place: Mitchell Pe Masulin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Oops.”

3rd Place: Benjamin Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Stuck truck.”

PHOTOGRAPHY (Non-daily newspapers)

1st Place: David Scolli, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark., for “Fantastic fireworks for the Fourth.”

PHOTOGRAPHY (Magazines)

1st Place: Arshia Khan, Arkansas Life Magazine for “Chocolate.”

PHOTO PACKAGE/SPREAD (All media)

1st Place, Arshia Khan, Arkansas Life for “The Family Meal.”

2nd Place: Mitchell Pe Masulin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Motorhead Madness.”

3rd Place: Mitchell Pe Masulin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Miss Arkansas.”

PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO (All media)

1st Place: Arshia Khan, Arkansas Life.

2nd Place: Mitchell Pe Masulin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

3rd Place: Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

LEISURE INTERESTS (Magazines)

1st Place: Morgan Acuff, Little Rock Family for “North Little Rock Police Officer Tommy Norman has a big family: Basically everyone.”

2nd Place: Bonnie Bauman, Arkansas Life for “Mack of All Trades.”

3rd Place: Wyndham Wyeth, Arkansas Life for “Pathfinder.”

TELEVISION DIVISION

 HARD NEWS

1st Place: Andrea Guzmán, Univision Arkansas for “Tormentas Azotan al Noroeste de Arkansas Dejando Cientos de Damnificados.”

2nd Place: Mariana Rivero, Univision Arkansas for “Impacto local impulse voto latino en Arkansas.”

3rd Place: Jose Gómez, Rolando Ochoa, Univision Arkansas for “Historia de Pablo.”

FEATURE REPORTING

1st Place: Rodolfo Portillo, Univision Arkansas for “Conozca las diferentes opinions de los famosos fidget spinners.”

2nd Place: Karen Pérez, Univision Arkansas for “Abril, mes de prevención contra abuso infantile y la aggression sexual.”

3rd Place: Staff, Univision Arkansas for Noticiero Arkansas

SPORTS REPORTING

1st Place: Aaron Nolan, KARK-TV for “A Golden Son.”

RADIO/PODCASTS DIVISION

 HARD NEWS

1st Place: Bobby Ampezzan, Arkansas Public Media for “Bundle of bills highlight how tricky, fragile are Freedom of Information laws.”

2nd Place: Jacqueline Froelich, Arkansas Public Media for “Arkansas, Oklahoma scientists grapple with industrial earthquakes.”

3rd Place: Ann Kenda, Johnathan Reaves, Arkansas Public Media for “White nationalists rally in Batesville amid fuller complement of police, counter-protesters.”

FEATURE REPORTING

1st place: Chris Hickey, KUAR Public Radio for “Research explores political attitudes of Little Rock’s religious.”

2nd Place: Chris Hickey, KUAR Public Radio for “Dealing with influx, Little Rock Mexican consulate expands legal services.”

3rd Place: Jacqueline Froelich, Arkansas Public Media for “University of Arkansas hosts open nuke.”

DOCUMENTARY/INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

1st Place: Jacob Kauffman, KUAR Public Radio for “Execution Series.”

2nd Place: Sarah Whites-Koditscheck, Arkansas Public Media for “Republican Arkansas looks to cut its once-expanded Medicaid rolls.”

3rd Place: Karen Steward, KUAR Public Radio for “In-depth interview: Execution drugs and double executions.”

SPORTS REPORTING

1st Place: Jacob Kauffman, Chris Hickey, KUAR Public Radio for “College football gets Arkansas to change its new gun law.”

STUDENT JOURNALISM DIVISION

NEWS

1st Place: Kimberely Blackburn, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University for “Controversy surrounds death penalty drug.”

2nd Place: Kimberely Blackburn, Caitlin Jancyz, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University for “Immigration ban sparks concern.”

3rd Place: Emma Williams, The Herald, Arkansas State University for “A-State students’ film project triggers campus lockdown.”

FEATURE

1st Place: Marie Mitchell, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University for “Juke joint piano finds new home.”

2nd Place: Darcy Hagood, KUAR Public Radio, University of Arkansas at Little Rock for “Photography exhibit explores Arkansas family’s grief.”

3rd Place: Jiayue Liao, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University for “Delta You: Bradley Ledgerwood’s fight.”

SPECIAL AWARDS

ROBERT S. MCCORD FOI AWARD

1st Place: Hunter Field, Amanda Claire Curcio, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Deadly Force.”

2nd Place: Kelly P. Kissel, The Associated Press for stories that explored public-access issues related to restrictions on journalists covering the state’s first executions since 2005 and to legislation aimed at restricting access to police information.

3rd Place: Lisa Hammersly, Brian Fanney, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Cash & The Court.”

OUTSTANDING NEW JOURNALIST

1st Place: Emma Pettit, Arkansas Online

2nd Place: Jacob Kauffman, KUAR Public Radio

3rd Place: Brandon Riddle, Arkansas Online

DIAMOND JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

1st Place: Eric Besson, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

2nd Place: Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press

3rd Place: Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

COMMUNITY SERVICE

1st Place: Frank Fellone, Lisa Hammersly, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Dead Asleep.”

2nd Place: Lisa Hammersly, Brian Fanney, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Cash & The Court.”

3rd Place: Staff, KUAR Public Radio and Arkansas Public Media for coverage of Arkansas’ executions.

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