Finalists named for 2023 Diamond Journalism Awards

Finalists named for 2023 Diamond Journalism Awards

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the finalists for its 2023 Diamond Journalism Awards, a regional competition that recognizes journalism excellence among professionals and students from Arkansas and six bordering states.

Arkansas SPJ will present the winners at an awards ceremony on June 27 at Brewski’s Pub & Grub, 315 Main St., Little Rock. A reception starts at 5:30 p.m.. with the awards presentations starting at 6 p.m.

This year’s competition for work published or broadcast in 2022 drew 363 entries in more than 80 categories, including Diamond Journalist of the Year and Outstanding New Journalist, the Robert S. McCord FOI Award, the Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder Public Service Award, and the Garrick Feldman Community Journalism Award.

Judges were members of the Washington D.C. SPJ chapter.

Finalists for the 2023 Diamond Journalism Awards listed by the outlet in which their work appeared:

225 Magazine
Maggie Heyn Richardson, Olivia Deffes, Zane Piontek, Mark Clements

501 Life Magazine
Tammy Keith

Arkadelphian.com
Joel Phelps

Arkansas Catholic
Dwain Hebda

Arkansas Now News
Hannah Campbell

AY Magazine
Austin Castrellon, Mike Bedgood, Dwain Hebda

Arkansas Advocate
Sonny Albarado, Tess Vrbin, Hunter Field,

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Michael R. Wickline, Teresa Moss, Joseph Flaherty, Sean Clancy, Rex Nelson, Nick Popowitch, Staci Vandagriff, Thomas Metthe, David Barham, Alexandria Brown, Remington Miller, Lisa Hammersly, Jenn Terrell, Will Langhorne, Frank Lockwood, Bill Bowden, Dwain Hebda, Democrat-Gazette Staff, Colin Murphey

Arkansas Money & Politics (AMP) Magazine
Lora Puls, Dwain Hebda

Arkansas Times
Dwain Hebda, Mandy Keener

The Arkansas Traveler (University of Arkansas)
Sarah Komar,

The Associated Press
Andrew DeMillo

Black Vitality
Dwain Hebda

The Commercial Appeal/The Tennessean
Daniel Connolly, Duane Gang, Arriel Cobert, Joe Rondone, Mel Fronczek, Ana Hurler

The Daily Citizen
Greg Geary

Do South Magazine
Dwain Hebda

The Echo (University of Central Arkansas)
Sarah Smythe, Madison Ogle, Courtney Shepherd, Delaney Van Wilpe, Anna Yanosick, Bennett Tinnermon, Emilee Hagewood, Mia Waddell, Maci England, Emily Kennard

Fort Worth Weekly
Edward Brown, Anthony Mariani

InRegister Magazine
Kelli Bozeman, Hoa Vu, Jordan Hefler, Collin Richie, Sean Gasser

KARK 4 News
Caitrin Assaf, Lauren Swaim

KHBS/KHOG (40/29)
Brett Rains, Katie Hamner, Colleen Clement, 40/29 TV Staff

KLRT-FOX 16
Kevin Kelly, Stephen Goodale, Lauren Swaim, Ashlei King, Julian Jones

KLSU-FM
Patricia Caputo, Liam Haley

KNWA-TV
Chelsea Helms

KTHV (THV11)
Skot Covert, Kelly Tibbit, Zach Keast

KUAR Public Radio
Daniel Breen, Josie Lenora, J. Bradley Minnick, Mary Ellen Kubit, Joseph Fuller

Leader Newspapers
Rick Kron

Mississippi Free Press
Nick Judin, Donna Ladd, Grace Marion, Torsheta Jackson, Aliyah Veal, Ashton Pittman, DeAnna Tisdale Johnson, Acacia Clark, Kristin Brenemen, Kayode Crown, William Pittman, Lukas Flippo

Missouri-Kansas Super Lawyers Magazine
Nancy Henderson

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism
Jacob Steimer, Mikhaila Markham, Andrea Morales, Brittany Brown, Wendi C. Thomas, Carrington Tatum, Andrea Morales, Ashli Blow

New Lines Magazine
Sarah Komar

Reveille (Louisiana State University)
Josh Archote, Reveille Editorial Board, Claire Sullivan, Katy-Ann McDonald, Will Nickel, Patricia Caputo, Brandon Poulter, Ally Kadlubar, Piper Hutchinson, Connor Barney, Henry Huber

St. Louis Public Radio
Avery Lea Rogers, Danny Wicentowski

Stuttgart Daily Leader
Kelly Connelly, Kristen Siler

Tiger TV (Louisiana State University)
Ava Borskey, Aria Pons

The Trucker
Dwain Hebda

World Christian Broadcasting
Paul Ladd

CALL FOR CANDIDATES: Arkansas SPJ seeks members for 2023-24 Board of Directors

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will hold its annual board election at the Diamond Awards banquet in June. Want to get involved? Consider joining our team.

The Arkansas SPJ Board of Directors has 11 seats that are up for election each year, including executive officers: president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.

Check out the following duties and responsibilities of board members and consider running for the board or an officer position. Send a photo and a brief bio that tells why you want to serve as an SPJ leader, your history with SPJ and what you will bring to the group, including any ideas you have for the coming year, to Arkansas SPJ President Steven Listopad at slistopad@icloud.com or ArkansasSPJ@gmail.com by Saturday, May 20.

A list of candidates and their bios will be posted at least 10 days before the election and emailed to our membership. Voting will take place at the annual meeting (time/date/location to be decided) and via email for those who can’t attend.

If an officer election is contested, or if there are more nominees for director than available board seats, that election shall be held by secret ballot. Uncontested elections shall be by voice vote.

Don’t want to be a board member? Get involved in one of our committees.

ARKANSAS PRO CHAPTER BOARD
Duties and Responsibilities
To ensure the health of the Society of Professional Journalists Arkansas Pro Chapter, the members of the Board of Directors must be current on national dues and be accountable for the following duties and responsibilities:

Attendance
The Board of Directors meets monthly and sometimes calls special meetings via phone or email. Board members must attend a minimum of nine monthly meetings during their July-to-June term of office, but strive to make it to all meetings in-person or by Zoom. Absence from three consecutive meetings, or four or more monthly meetings during their term, will result in the appointment of a new director to the position.

Participation
Board members must actively participate in at least one of the following chapter committees: Freedom of Information Act, Programing, Contests, Membership and Marketing, or other special committees designated by the president. Active participation may include planning at least one event in a year, advancement of the FOIA through lobbying, contributions to the chapter’s website, newsletter or social media campaigns, or other efforts determined by the board.

2023 Diamond Awards Categories

2023 DIAMOND JOURNALISM AWARDS

CONTEST CATEGORIES

Diamond graphic

A NOTE ON CONTEST DIVISIONS: Please pay attention to entry requirements. For most categories, entries can be submitted in two divisions — print/online and audio/video (includes podcasts, radio and TV). However, some categories allow entries to be submitted in the following subdivisions: newspapers, magazines, online publications, TV/video, and audio/radio.

DIAMOND HONORS – ALL MEDIA

GARRICK FELDMAN COMMUNITY JOURNALISM AWARD — For focused coverage of a community or neighborhood, awarded in honor of the late Garrick Feldman, publisher of The Leader newspapers, Jacksonville, Ark., and proponent of strong local journalism. COVER LETTER REQUIRED. Submit no more than six stories and related multimedia content. Audio and video entries should not be longer than 60 minutes total.

01. ALL MEDIA

CHARLOTTE TILLAR SCHEXNAYDER PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD — For journalism that seeks to benefit society through extensive coverage of an issue facing a community, state or region. Named in honor of the late Charlotte Schexnayder, journalist, small-town newspaper publisher and Arkansas legislator. Entry MUST INCLUDE A NOMINATING LETTER providing background and context and results, if any. Judges will consider significance of the issue, journalistic initiative, presentation, and results. Submit no more than 10 items – stories and opinion pieces. Audio and video entries should not be longer than 60 minutes total.

02. ALL MEDIA

THE ROBERT S. MCCORD FOI AWARD — For coverage that focuses on the public’s right to know and that carries on the legacy of the late Robert McCord, a former national SPJ president who is considered the father of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. COVER LETTER REQUIRED in support of the nomination. Submit stories, opinion pieces, letters or other material (including audio or video) that demonstrate how the nominee contributed to the protection or enhancement of the public’s right to know.

03. ALL MEDIA

OUTSTANDING NEW JOURNALIST AWARD — For journalistic excellence demonstrated by an individual  who has worked five years or fewer in their market. The winner will be chosen based on a NOMINATING LETTER and supporting documents. Submit a portfolio by the nominee of five pieces representative of their work over the year.

04. ALL MEDIA

OUTSTANDING STUDENT  JOURNALIST AWARD — For journalistic excellence demonstrated by an individual student journalist. The winner will be chosen based on a NOMINATING LETTER and supporting documents. Submit a portfolio by the nominee of five pieces representative of their work over the year. 

05. ALL MEDIA

DIAMOND JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR — For journalistic excellence by a journalist in any medium over the preceding 12 months. Submit a portfolio by the nominee of five to seven pieces and a NOMINATING LETTER from a ranking editor or producer.

06. ALL MEDIA

PROFESSIONAL MEDIA

BREAKING NEWS For  clear, accurate and engaging coverage of a single, unexpected news event by individuals, teams or news. Judges will consider deadline pressure and complexity of the subject. 

07. PRINT/ONLINE – Submit up to three articles, any sidebars and related multimedia content. 

08. AUDIO/VIDEO –  Submit audio or video from up to three stories not longer than 30 minutes total and any related multimedia content.

GENERAL NEWS — For  coverage of a news-related topic. May include planned coverage of a single event or in-depth or enterprise reporting.

09. PRINT/ONLINE – Submit up to three articles and any related multimedia content.

10. AUDIO/VIDEO – Submit audio or video from up to three stories not longer than 30 minutes total and any related multimedia content.

ONGOING COVERAGE For continuing coverage over time of a topic or major event demonstrating solid reporting and presentation with complexity and perspective. 

11. PRINT/ONLINE – Submit up to five stories along with any related multimedia content. Entries may include a mix of story types, e.g. breaking news, features and explanatory.

12. AUDIO/VIDEO – Submit audio or video from up to five stories not longer than 60 minutes total along with any related multimedia content. Entries may include a mix of story types, e.g. breaking news, features and explanatory.

ENTERPRISE/IN-DEPTH REPORTING — For coverage that reflects a reporter’s or team’s initiative, ingenuity, use of sources and/or special research to dig deeper or capture more complexity than a typical news story.

13. PRINT/ONLINE – Submit a single story or a series of up to three stories and any related multimedia content.

14. AUDIO/VIDEO Submit audio or video from a single report or a series of reports not longer than 30 minutes total and any related multimedia content.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING — For reporting that  demonstrates initiative, persistence and resourcefulness in pursuing information that is restricted or not easily available and is of public interest and significance. COVER LETTER REQUIRED, explaining reporting process and impact or results.

15. PRINT/ONLINE – Submit one story or a series of no more than six stories and any related multimedia content.

16. AUDIO/VIDEO – Submit a single piece or a series on the same topic with a maximum combined run time of 60 minutes and any related multimedia content. 

EXPLANATORY REPORTING — For reporting and writing that elucidate significant stories and complex situations, that deepen understanding of a subject or that focus on subjects covered minimally or not at all by most media. 

17. PRINT/ONLINE – Submit one story or a series and any related multimedia content. If entering a series, please submit no more than six stories.

18. AUDIO/VIDEO  – Submit one audio clip of up to 30 minutes.

EDITORIALS — For opinion writing that represents a news organization’s position on a topic or issue. Judges will consider importance to the community, writing style, reasoning, originality and reader interest. 

19. PRINT/ONLINE – Submit three editorials as one entry.

20. AUDIO/VIDEO – Submit three editorials as one entry.

COMMENTARY — For commentary or analysis by an individual. News-related blogs also are eligible. Judges will consider quality of expression, clarity  and originality.

21. PRINT/ONLINE – Submit three samples as one entry.

22. AUDIO/VIDEO – Submit three samples as one entry.

FEATURES — For individual storytelling excellence. Judges will consider the use of narrative, use of humor or drama, style, creativity, clarity and suitability of the writing to the subject.

23. NEWSPAPERS – Submit one story.

24. MAGAZINES  – Submit one story. 

25. ONLINE ONLY (For stories, audio or video published or broadcast online only.) Submit one story or audio/video of not more than 15 minutes.

26. TV/VIDEO – Submit one story of not more than 15 minutes.

27. RADIO/AUDIO – Submit one story of not more than 15 minutes.

PROFILES — For reporting that  depicts the character and personality of a story  subject.

28. NEWSPAPERS Submit one story.

29. MAGAZINES Submit one story.

30. ONLINE ONLY (For written, audio or video stories published or broadcast online only.) Submit one written story or audio/video story of not more than 15 minutes.

31. TV/VIDEO Submit one story of no more than 15 minutes.

32. RADIO/AUDIO Submit one story of no more than 15 minutes.

SPORTS — For coverage of any sport or athletic endeavor. Judges will consider clarity and style.

33. NEWSPAPERS – Submit a single story or no more than three stories representing continuing coverage of a single topic.

34. MAGAZINES – Submit a single story or no more than three stories representing continuing coverage of a single topic.

35. ONLINE ONLY (For written, audio or video stories published or broadcast online only.) Submit a single story or no more than three stories covering a single topic. Audio/video entries should not be longer than 15 minutes total.

36. AUDIO/VIDEO Submit audio or video of no more than three reports covering a single topic with a run time not longer than 15 minutes. 

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT COVERAGE — For reporting on the arts, entertainment, restaurant and other cultural news. Entry may include columns, profiles and features. Judges will consider the quality of the writing and presentation and, where appropriate, analysis.

37. NEWSPAPERS – Submit up to three stories or a series of up to three stories.

38. MAGAZINES – Submit up to three stories or a series of up to three stories.

39. AUDIO/VIDEO Submit audio or video of no longer than 15 minutes.

40. ONLINE ONLY (For written stories, audio or video stories published or broadcast online only.) Submit one written story or audio/video story of not more than 15 minutes.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CRITICISM/REVIEWS — For writing that demonstrates a journalist’s competence in evaluating performance, restaurants, books, recorded music or other cultural events or entities.

41. NEWSPAPERS Submit three samples of the author’s work.

42. MAGAZINES Submit three samples of the author’s work.

43. AUDIO/VIDEO Submit audio or video of no longer than 5 minutes.

44. ONLINE ONLY (For written stories, audio or video stories published or broadcast online only.) Submit one written story or audio/video story of not more than 15 minutes.

BUSINESS — For coverage of business or finance by an individual or team. Submit up to five samples and any related multimedia content. Run times for audio and video should not exceed 5 minutes.

45. ALL MEDIA Submit up to five stories and related multimedia content or audio/video with a run time of not more than 15 minutes.

EDUCATION — For coverage of education (news, features, analysis and investigative). 

46. PRINT/ONLINE Submit up to five samples and any related multimedia content as one entry.

47. AUDIO/VIDEO Submit audio or video with a run time of not more than 15 minutes.

HEALTH — For reporting clearly on health, including medicine, community health and health policy, and the health effects of COVID-19. 

48. ALL MEDIA Submit up to five stories and related multimedia content or audio/video with a run time of not more than 15 minutes.

SCIENCE — For reporting clearly on science, including technology, and its impact on individuals and society. 

49. ALL MEDIA Submit up to five stories and related multimedia content or audio/video with a run time of not more than 15 minutes.

ENVIRONMENT — For coverage of environmental issues, including climate change.

50. ALL MEDIA Submit up to five stories and related multimedia content or audio/video with a run time of not more than 15 minutes.

POLITICS — For coverage of public issues, political campaigns, candidates or campaign finance. 

51. PRINT/ONLINE Submit up to five stories and related multimedia content as one entry.  

52. AUDIO/VIDEO Run times for audio or video should not exceed 15 minutes total. 

SPECIAL SECTION/NICHE PUBLICATION — For a niche publication or special section devoted to a single topic. Judges will consider depth of coverage, presentation, and quality of writing. 

53. PRINT/ONLINE Submit one section or niche publication. 

PODCASTS — For public interest podcasting that stands alone or is part of a series. 

54. ALL MEDIA Submit up to three episodes as one entry. Podcast entries may have also aired as radio or TV broadcasts.

VISUAL JOURNALISM & DESIGN

BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY — For photojournalism produced on deadline. Judges will consider deadline pressure, complexity of subject and visual presentation.

55. ALL MEDIA Submit photos with cutlines from up to three stories as one entry, but no more than six images in all. Be sure to include the accompanying story or link to the story.

GENERAL NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY — For photojournalism by an individual for any non-deadline news event.

56. ALL MEDIA Submit a single photo with cutline/caption. Link to or include accompanying story – if any.

FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY — For feature photography by an individual..

57. ALL MEDIA Submit a single photo with cutline/caption. Link to or include the accompanying story, if any, or contextual information.

PHOTO SPREAD/ESSAY — For a group of photographs on a single theme published as part of a single story or as a stand-alone layout. 

58. ALL MEDIA Submit no more than 10 images with cutlines. Link to or include the accompanying story or contextual information.

PHOTO PORTFOLIO — For photography that shows the work of a single photographer. 

59. ALL MEDIA Submit or link to no more than five photos with cutlines. 

DATA VISUALIZATION — For presentation of complex information using graphics, maps and other interactive tools to report on data.

60. ALL MEDIA Submit up to three samples, including the associated stories or links to them online.

GRAPHICS/ILLUSTRATIONS — For infographics or illustrations.

61. ALL MEDIA Submit three samples as one entry. Include or link to any accompanying story or text.

VIDEOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO — For video journalism by an individual.

62. ALL MEDIA – Submit up to three samples with a maximum combined length of 15 minutes.

VIDEO PROGRAM — For regular news-oriented programming over the air or online that focuses on a theme or subject, including but not limited to topics such as crime, politics or health.

63. ALL MEDIA Submit up to three samples with a combined length 15 minutes maximum.

FRONT PAGE/COVER DESIGN — For presentation that significantly enhances access to journalistic work and improves audience experience and engagement. Submit up to three samples as one entry.

64. NEWSPAPERS Submit up to three samples as one entry.

65. MAGAZINES Submit up to three samples as one entry.

PAGE DESIGN — For presentation on a page or pages other than a magazine cover or front page that significantly enhances access to journalistic work and improves audience experience and engagement.

66. NEWSPAPERS Submit up to three samples as one entry.

67. MAGAZINES Submit up to three samples as one entry.

ONLINE DESIGN — For  presentation that significantly enhances access to journalistic work and improves audience experience and engagement.

68. WEB/MOBILE Submit up to three samples as one entry.

STUDENT MEDIA

STUDENT – SPECIAL PROJECTS — For special projects that show exemplary reporting, writing, photography or videography. These should be student-generated and not part of an ongoing university-sponsored project.  COVER LETTER REQUIRED.

69. ALL MEDIA Submit an entire issue of a publication, series of stories or single piece, or a broadcast of up to 60 minutes in length. 

STUDENT – BREAKING NEWS — For  clear and accurate reporting and engaging writing on deadline by individuals or teams regardless of platform. Judges will consider deadline pressure, style and complexity of the subject. 

70. ALL MEDIA Submit up to three articles and any related multimedia content. Audio and video clips should not exceed 15 minutes. 

STUDENT – GENERAL NEWS — For  clear and accurate reporting and engaging writing by individuals or teams regardless of platform. Judges will consider style and complexity of the subject. 

71. ALL MEDIA Submit up to three articles and any related multimedia content. Audio and video clips should not exceed 15 minutes. 

STUDENT – FEATURES — For individual storytelling excellence regardless of platform. Judges will consider use of narrative, humor or drama, style, creativity, clarity and suitability of the writing or video/audio presentation to the subject. 

72. ALL MEDIA Submit one story and any related multimedia content. Audio and video clips should not exceed 15 minutes. 

STUDENT – SPORTS — For  coverage of any sport or athletic endeavor regardless of platform. Judges will consider clarity and style. 

73. ALL MEDIA Submit a single story or no more than three stories representing continuing coverage of a single topic. Audio and video clips should not exceed 15 minutes. 

STUDENT – EDITORIALS — For  opinion writing that represents a student news outlet’s position on a topic or issue. Judges will consider importance to the community, writing style, reasoning, originality, and reader interest. 

74. ALL MEDIA Submit three editorials as one entry.

STUDENT – COMMENTARY — For  commentary, reviews or analysis by an individual on any platform. Blogs also are eligible. Judges will consider quality of expression, clarity, and originality.

75. ALL MEDIA Submit three samples as one entry. Maximum run time for video or audio: 15 minutes.

STUDENT – ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT REPORTING — For coverage of arts, entertainment, restaurant and other cultural news. Entry may include columns, profiles and features. Judges will consider the quality of the writing and presentation and, where appropriate, analysis.

76. ALL MEDIA Submit three samples as one entry. Maximum run time for video or audio: 15 minutes.

STUDENT – ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CRITICISM/REVIEWS — For writing that demonstrates a journalist’s competence in evaluating performance, restaurants, books, recorded music or other cultural events or entities.

77. ALL MEDIA Submit three samples as one entry. Maximum run time for video or audio: 15 minutes.

STUDENT – BUSINESS — For  coverage of business or finance, including the business of college athletics and of institutions of higher learning. Judges will consider clarity. 

78. ALL MEDIA Submit a single story or no more than three stories representing continuing coverage of a single topic. Maximum run time for video or audio: 15 minutes.

STUDENT – EDUCATION — For  coverage on any platform of education, including institutions of higher education, teacher training and educational research. Judges will consider clarity and thoroughness. 

  1. ALL MEDIA Submit three samples as one entry. Maximum run time for video or audio: 15 minutes. 

STUDENT – NEWS PHOTO For  photojournalism by an individual for breaking or general news. Judges will consider deadline pressure, complexity of subject and visual presentation. 

80. ALL MEDIA Submit one photo with cutline. Please include the accompanying story or link the story. 

STUDENT – FEATURE PHOTO For  feature photography by an individual. Judges will consider the complexity of  the subject and visual presentation. 

81. ALL MEDIA Submit one photo with cutline. Please include the accompanying story or link the story, if any.

STUDENT – PHOTO SPREAD/ESSAY — For  a group of photographs on a single theme published  as part of a single story or as a stand-alone layout. 

82. ALL MEDIA Submit up to 10 images with cutlines and an explanation of the context or the accompanying story or text. Links are acceptable. 

STUDENT – PHOTO PORTFOLIO — For  photography that shows the work of a single photographer. 

83. ALL MEDIA Submit no more than five photos with cutlines.  

STUDENT – DATA VISUALIZATION — For presenting complex information using graphics, maps or other interactive tools to report on data.. 

84. ALL MEDIA Submit up to three samples, including the associated stories or links to them online.

STUDENT – GRAPHICS/ILLUSTRATIONS — For infographics or illustrations on any platform. 

85. ALL MEDIA Submit up to three samples. Include any accompanying story or text. 

STUDENT – DESIGN — For presentation that significantly enhances access to journalistic work and improves audience experience and engagement. Design encompasses visual and sound elements as well as print and online display. 

86. ALL MEDIA Submit up to three samples as one entry. 

STUDENT – PODCASTS — For reporting and journalistic storytelling that stands alone or is part of a series. 

87. ALL MEDIA Submit up to three episodes as one entry with maximum run time of 60 minutes. Podcast entries may have also aired as radio or TV broadcasts.

2023 Diamond Journalism Awards Rules

2023 DIAMOND JOURNALISM AWARDS

ELIGIBILITY AND ENTRY RULES

ENTRY DEADLINE EXTENDED!

APRIL 5, 2023

All professional and student journalists, and freelancers, residing in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas can submit entries or have entries submitted on their behalf by news organizations that published or broadcast their work. Authors who reside in the contest states may submit work published or broadcast outside those states.

ALL ENTRIES MUST HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED OR BROADCAST IN CALENDAR YEAR 2022.

You DON’T have to be a member of the Society of Professional Journalists to enter, but members get a discount on entry fees. SPJ members must provide their membership number in order to qualify for the discount. You can join SPJ by submitting an application here. We suggest submitting entries after your SPJ membership has been confirmed.

Entries may be submitted in more than one category, but a separate entry fee is required for each category.

Any significant challenges or corrections to an entry must be noted with the entry. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of the entry.

Non-English entries should also provide an English translation if possible.

Cover letters and supporting material are required only in conjunction with nominations for the following awards: Student Special Project, Student Journalist of the Year, Public Service, Community Journalism, FOI, Outstanding New Journalist and Diamond Journalist of the Year. Entrants in other categories may submit cover letters or supporting material at their discretion but should keep them brief.

Please ensure entry URLs remain valid through June 30, 2023, to accommodate judging and awards presentation.

Contest administrators reserve the right to combine entries in the same category from different platforms or circulation groups if an insufficient number of entries make the category non-competitive.

ENTRY FEES

SPJ members: $10 per entry.

To claim the member fee, you must supply your SPJ member number (in the entry platform’s comments box). A team entry may claim the fee if at least one team member is an SPJ member. That person’s name and SPJ member number must be listed in the comments box.

Nonmembers: $20 per entry.

Student SPJ members: $5 per entry. Provide your member number.

Student nonmembers: $10 per entry.

No fees will be refunded.

HOW TO ENTER

The Diamond Journalism Awards uses the Better BNC contest management platform for entries and judging.

If you’re new to using the Better BNC entry platform, go here for instructions .

You can find all the categories here.

Go here to submit payment for entries.

Arkansas SPJ to advance free flow of information with PIO event

 

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will present Public information officers and the press: Advancing the free flow of information, a discussion about the relationships between public information officers and the media at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30. 

The event moderated by KATV reporter Brenda Lepenski will take place at the Arkansas Press Association, 411 S. Victory Street in Little Rock, for those who would like to attend in person or online at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89982273967.

Featured speakers include Bill Sadler, PIO for the Arkansas State Police, and communication directors Cindy Murphy of the Arkansas Department of Corrections, Aaron Sadler of the office of Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. and Pamela Smith of the Little Rock School District.

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch. Submit questions and comments for discussion to arkansasSPJ@gmail.com or tweet @ArkansasSPJ.

About the moderator:

Arkansas SPJ board member Brenda Lepenski joined the Channel 7 News team in March of 2022 as a general assignment reporter. Prior to working at KATV, Lepenski worked as a multimedia journalist in Lubbock, Texas. She also worked for a Spanish TV station in Irving, Texas where she helped produce newscasts for Dallas, Houston, and Miami.

Lepenski is fluent in Spanish. She grew up in Bossier City, La. and is originally from Juarez, Mexico. Her name is Polish, given to her by her adopted family.

She’s a proud member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and has served as vice president of the Dallas chapter where she’s helped in the effort to raise scholarship funds for aspiring journalism and communication students.

She’s a former student at Louisiana Tech University and a graduate of University of Texas at El Paso.

Lepenski is looking to explore more of the Natural State and to serve the community by telling stories that matter.

About the panelists:

Bill Sadler grew up in a newspaper family in Rison, where his grandfather bought the Cleveland County Herald in 1923. Bill started working at the paper in the backshop, learned to write, photograph, “and all the other demons that come with a weekly newspaper,” he said. His family sold the paper in 2002.

He attended Arkansas State University and worked as a reporter and photographer at the Jonesboro Sun, Malvern Daily Record and Pine Bluff News.

In 1976, Bill Sadler joined the staff of KARK as a reporter/photographer assigned to Pine Bluff; then, in 1996, he went to work as a field producer for NBC News affiliates division. His first assignment covered TWA Flight 800, which exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after takeoff killing all 230 people on board.

He became a PIO in May 1997.

“Ten months into the job I was thrown to the wolves as lead spokesman for the Arkansas State Police, Craighead County Sheriff’s Department, Prosecuting Attorney and Juvenile Judge in the aftermath of the Westside School shooting,” Bill Sadler said. 

He is still at the job 25 years later.

Aaron Sadler (no relation to Bill) is a veteran communicator with experience in both public relations and newspaper reporting. He is currently Communications Director for Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., and before that he led communications for five attorneys general in five states.

He is a staunch advocate for the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, having been a correspondent for Stephens Media in both Little Rock and Washington. He has also worked for the Arkansas Press Association and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

A Trumann native, Sadler is a graduate of Arkansas State University.

Cindy Murphy spent more than 11 years at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where she covered city hall for four years and wrote for the family section in the popular “Forces of Nurture” column about the challenges, joys and misadventures of parenting; she was a website editor, then a special projects reporter for more than seven years, during which time she was responsible for writing award-winning, in-depth articles on a number of topics, including the Arkansas Crime Lab, cold cases, various city and state agencies and related legislative initiatives.

She conducted exhaustive investigations into fraud, corruption and public spending. In addition, Murphy specialized in human interest stories that required the ability to relate to victims, their families, and the agencies involved. 

After leaving the paper, Murphy served as communications director for Arkansas Attorney General’s Office under Dustin McDaniel, then as public affairs director and community engagement director under Leslie Rutledge. She worked briefly as public outreach division manager for Arkansas Energy and Environment before joining the Arkansas Department of Corrections in May 2020. 

Pamela Smith has been the Communications Director for the Little Rock School District, Arkansas’ second-largest district, since April 2012, where she is responsible for guiding internal and external communications, marketing, and public relations efforts.  Smith is a 30-year communications veteran who has enjoyed a career that spans public relations, radio/television broadcast, and print.  

Smith previously served as co-host of Good Morning Arkansas and Weekend Anchor for KATV.  Smith joined KATV’s staff in 1990 as a General Assignment Reporter and was soon promoted to Weekend Anchor, assuming the role of co-host of the station’s popular GMA program in August 2011.  Because she has a keen insight into media relations and is passionate about issues that impact the state’s youth and elderly populations, she is equally excited to now work on behalf of the 22,000 plus students in LRSD and brings a breadth of experience to her role as lead communicator.   In addition to her lengthy television career, Smith also served as on-air talent and news director for the top-rated Broadway Joe Radio Show in Little Rock for more than a decade and was a monthly contributor to AETN and AY Magazine.

Diamond Journalism Awards – 2022 Winners

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Reporters for Mississippi Free Press and KNWA-TV and the editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial took top honors at the 2022 Diamond Journalism Awards ceremony held June 30 at Diamond Bear Brewing Co.

Guest speakers Ellen Kreth, publisher, and Shannon Hahn, general manager, of the Madison County Record told the audience of journalists and guests about their newspaper’s reporting on the Huntsville school board’s attempts to cover up allegations of sexual assault by junior high school basketball players. The Record was awarded the 2021 Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Journalism by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University for its reporting on the scandal.

The Diamond Journalism Awards, sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, honor journalism excellence among professionals and students from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

This year’s competition, for work published or broadcast in 2021, drew 379 entries in more than 80 categories. Judges were members of the SPJ chapters in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Pine Bluff Commercial Editor Byron Tate with his Diamond Award paperweight.
Pine Bluff Commercial Editor Byron Tate with his 2022 Garrick Feldman Community Journalism Award – Photo by Jennifer Ellis

Byron Tate, editor of Arkansas’ Pine Bluff Commercial, received the Garrick Feldman Community Journalism Award for his reporting and editorials on and about Pine Bluff and Jefferson County.

Mississippi Free Press staff took three of the competition’s top honors:

  • Kayode Crown was named Diamond Journalist of the Year for his work for the Jackson- based online news outlet.
  • Nick Judin won the Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder Public Service Award for “What the Jackson Water Crisis Revealed.”
  • Christian Middleton and Grace Marion won the Robert S. McCord FOI Award for “Drug Unit Travails Hidden from Public View.”

Chad Mira of Fayetteville’s KNWA-TV was named Outstanding New Journalist, an award that recognizes journalists who have worked in their market five years or fewer. A complete list of winners, with judges’ comments, and finalists follows:

2022 DIAMOND JOURNALISM AWARDS WINNERS AND FINALISTS

Garrick Feldman Community Journalism Award

WINNER

Byron Tate, Pine Bluff Commercial/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: Byron stepped up to the challenge when called to run the Pine Bluff Commercial, and lucky for the community he did. He shows a clear nose for news, not just covering but digging into topics that matter to the people of Jefferson County. He displays a knack for switching gears, writing on the resurrection of a well-loved basketball tournament to the complexities of the interim police chief holding a liquor license to a drama-filled feature on Arkansas’ own Patient Zero. He clearly knows and loves the community well, as evidenced in his thoughtful and well-researched editorials. His work honors his community and Garrick Feldman’s legacy.

FINALISTS

Entry Title: Black Women, Covid-19 and Education in Noxubee County

Entry Credit: Torsheta Jackson, Donna Ladd, Kristin Brenemen, Mississippi Free Press

Judge Comment: The strength of Torsheta and Donna’s BWC Project is in its approach. They returned to the roots of community journalism – listening to the people and honoring their experience. The stories dug into the community’s past, unapologetically unearthing and naming the systemic racism that still plagues Black women in Noxubee County today. But possibly the best contribution of this work – they know there’s more reporting to do, and they aim to continue to do it.

Entry Title: Focused coverage on City of Beebe, Arkansas

Entry Credit: Greg Geary, The Daily Citizen, Searcy

Judge Comment: As the only reporter for this outlet, Greg carries the heavy load of keeping his community informed with both vital and vibrant coverage. The range of his work reflects the range of news a community cares about – from the grind of municipal work to annual events like “Shop with a Cop” to a heartwarming story of a student overcoming a stutter to win a speaking contest – and a history I’m sure they appreciate having documented with such care. Competition Comment: This was a particularly difficult category to judge, as each entry highlighted a different reason why local journalism is so vital to our communities. The one- reporter newspaper, the paper resurrected to serve as the only local news source, the team digging and digging into the deep roots of inequities in a Mississippi county – all serve as a testament to the role dedicated journalists play in documenting, sharing and challenging our history.

Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder Public Service Award

WINNER

Entry Title: What the Jackson Water Crisis Revealed

Entry Credit: Nick Judin, Mississippi Free Press, Jackson

Judge Comment: Nick Judin stands out for his relentless coverage, which not only included hard news and legislative reporting, but also beautifully researched and written human-centered stories. While many factors led to action for the citizens of the City of Jackson, I can’t help but believe Nick’s dogged commitment to the issue and to a community that has long felt forgotten contributed to that progress.

FINALIST

Entry Title: The Great Delta Divide

Entry Credit: Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Judge Comment: Stephen Simpson is clearly a talented and dedicated journalist who produced strong coverage that highlighted an area of the country that has long experienced inequities.

The conditions under which this project was produced – as a new staff member, reporting during a pandemic – make the package of stories even more remarkable.

Robert S. McCord FOI Award

WINNER

Entry Title: Drug Unit Travails Hidden from Public View

Entry Credit: Christian Middleton, Grace Marion, Mississippi Free Press, Jackson

Judge Comment: Excellent use of both public records and old-fashioned watchdog reporting to uncover a disturbing issue that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. This is a perfect example of why access to public records is important to a democracy, and a perfect example of why journalists need to report from public records. Fantastic work!

FINALIST

Entry Title: Chad Mira – Robert S. McCord FOI Award Entry Credit: Chad Mira, KNWA News, Fayetteville, AR Judge Comment: None

FINALIST

Entry Title: ADG Flaherty McCord nomination

Entry Credit: Joseph Flaherty, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Judge Comment: None

Diamond Journalist of the Year

WINNER

Kayode Crown, Mississippi Free Press, Jackson

Judge Comment: Kayode produces meticulously researched and reported work with a narrative flow that keeps the reader hooked. He gravitates to meaty and meaningful stories – a broken jail and a broken justice system, lead poisoning, people detained for months without

representation. He appears dedicated to shining the light in places that may otherwise not receive any.

FINALIST

Monica Quintero, KPEJ, Odessa

Entry Title: Monica Quintero – Passionate about People

Judge Comment: Monica is clearly a motivated journalist who is well versed in her storytelling. From inspiration pieces in the Be the Change series to emotional and compelling stories, like one of a mother grieving her lost child, she seems to know how to get to the heart of a story – and how to keep people at the center of it.

FINALIST

Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS, Little Rock

Judge Comment: Dwain is a talented narrative journalist, blending relevant detail, research and data into beautiful stories that are compelling no matter the topic.

Outstanding New Journalist

WINNER

Chad Mira, KNWA News, Fayetteville

Judge Comment: Chad clearly brings a lot to his market. He’s skilled in navigating public records, appears undeterred by roadblocks and challenges, and seasoned in weaving in the human element into a complex investigation. What an asset to the community.

FINALIST

Tess Vrbin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Judge Comment: Tess displays experience beyond her years, from digging through public documents to breaking down data to disaster coverage to breaking news and spurring change. Bright future ahead for this young journalist.

FINALIST

joseph Flaherty, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Judge Comment: Joseph demonstrates a strong dedication to open government, and seems to thrive while fighting for government transparency. Keep fighting the good fight!

BREAKING NEWS – PRINT/ONLINE & TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: Tornado coverage

Entry Credit: Tess Vrbin, Staci Vandagriff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Judge Comment: In a category filled with entries that all deserve recognition, I chose this piece because of the people it brought to life and the information it conveyed in the aftermath of a tragedy that affected so many. It takes a lot to balance our journalistic responsibilities with being empathetic and I think this piece delivered.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Interstate 40 Bridge Crack

Entry Credit: Andrew DeMillo, Adrian Sainz, Jill Bleed, The Associated Press, Little Rock

Judge Comment: The threads that were pulled to get to the heart of the bridge closure, and that the structural deficiency had been spotted before, shows the kind of tenacity and dogged reporting required in breaking news situations.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Covid Strikes Mississippi Children

Entry Credit: Ashton Pittman, Mississippi Free Press, Jackson

Judge Comment: I found these entries to be compelling and told with a point of view that tried to answer the question of why. And in an uncertain time, I found that act compelling.

ONGOING COVERAGE – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: The fight over Medicaid expansion in Missouri

Entry Credit: Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: Really solid reporting with solutions provided to problems and terrific cause and effect analysis. Also, a great understanding of dense legal documents was shown.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Teen Driver killing

Entry Credit: Teresa Moss, Ashton Eley, Thomas Metthe, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Judge Comment: Very well written and thorough articles discussing every element of the case, with well-timed and poised FOIA requests.

FINALIST

Entry Title: One Jail’s Tale of Abuse and Decay

Entry Credit: Kayode Crown, Mississippi Free Press, Jackson

Judge Comment: Good reporting on an astonishingly bad situation. Good background from start to finish.

ONGOING COVERAGE – RADIO/AUDIO & TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: Missouri’s Medicaid expansion fight

Entry Credit: Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: Essential reporting on state Medicaid law that had to go to the high court to overcome political opposition.

Entry Title: Drunk VA Doctor’s Fatal Mistakes

Entry Credit: Chad Mira, KNWA News, Fayetteville

FINALIST

Entry Title: The Great Mask Debate

Entry Credit: Ashley Bohle, WVLT, Knoxville

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: Missouri Repealed its Harshest Drug Law. Hundreds Were Left Behind

Entry Credit: Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times, St. Louis

Judge Comment: All of these entries did a great job using exhaustive investigative reporting to uncover serious, often tragic issues. This entry stood out for its depth of information, but also its storytelling, following multiple people remaining in prison despite a new law contradicting their terms. Along with explaining the issues well and at length, the reporting injected a humanity that often goes forgotten in detail-heavy journalism.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Betting on the Good Old Boys

Entry Credit: Edward Brown, Fort Worth Weekly

Judge Comment: Journalism is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, and this story did the latter very well. Local politicians wielding influence unethically is likely the result of their perception they are not being watched in small communities, and I’m glad this reporter was.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Children in Peril finale

Entry Credit: Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: The amount of research that went into this project was incredible. The result was a report as shocking as it was in-depth and was the kind of journalism known to result in policy reforms at the highest level.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING – RADIO/AUDIO & TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: Filthy and Abusive Conditions at Treatment Center for Kids

Entry Credit: Chad Mira, KNWA News

Judge Comment: Excellent pursuit of documents, data and interviews to expose negligence in a youth treatment center.

FINALIST

Entry Title: St. Louis homeless services falls perilously short

Entry Credit: Shahla Farzan, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: Excellent accountability coverage targeting St Louis policies and practices intended to help homeless people.

EXPLANATORY REPORTING – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: ‘Kids feel like they’re being erased’: Inside the clinic targeted by Arkansas’s new anti-trans law

Entry Credit: Rebekah Scott, Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, Little Rock

Judge Comment: Outstanding explanatory reporting that tells readers exactly how the new piece of controversial legislation will affect transgender people like Andrew. Well done!

FINALIST

Entry Title: Rising rents

Entry Credit: Jacob Steimer, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, Memphis

Judge Comment: An important topic, well-presented to readers.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Child abuse investigation

Entry Credit: Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: Good job digging into the data. Storytelling could have been a bit stronger, but very solid analysis.

EXPLANATORY REPORTING – RADIO/AUDIO

WINNER

Entry Title: Ending the racial wealth gap through reparations: Local policies or federal payments?

Entry Credit: Chad Davis, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: The reason I picked the reparations piece is I think it qualifies the most in “explanatory reporting.” Reparations is something I enjoy reading about, but I often don’t think about what it would actually take to implement, and how it would impact national movements. This reporter broadened my understanding of race while letting its characters remain in the spotlight.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Sculptor Discusses Inspiration in Making Johnny Cash Statue for U.S. Capitol

Entry Credit: Michael Hibblen, KUAR-FM 89.1, Little Rock

Judge Comment: The interviewer in Arkansas is clearly well-researched, passionate about the subject, and ready to extract great soundbites (and live no less) from his subject.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Black St. Louisans Turn to Therapy, Nature and Family to Heal from Police Violence

Entry Credit: Marissanne Lewis-Thompson, Andrea Henderson, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: The reporter on the mental health feature gets great tape and dives into a significant and complex situation, and her voice and scripting shine through and very much deepen my understanding of an issue I often only read about in national publications.

EXPLANATORY REPORTING – TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: Face to Face with a Killer

Entry Credit: Kevin Kelly, Stephen Goodale, Jessica Guy, KLRT-FOX 16 News, Little Rock

Judge Comment: I’ve never seen any situations like that on television, and it’s clear the reporter treated every single person in this situation with incredible respect. Each character is given their chance to speak, the three segments of the piece fit together as a story while standing alone by themselves, and, as a piece of explanatory journalism, there wasn’t much else from the case I felt I needed to know. I hope the reporter and station are proud of this achievement, and I can only hope to produce something half as good as this in my career. Looking on social media, it was clear that the victim’s family was incredibly grateful for the coverage in “Face to Face,” and that might be the most important part of this entire story. Thanks for reporting it.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Show Me Missouri: Celebrating 200 Years

Entry Credit: Brian Calfano, Sarah Scarlett, KOLR-TV, Springfield, MO

Judge Comment: “Show Me Missouri” as a full project gives me so many great nuggets of information about the Ozarks. I particularly enjoyed the historical interviews about the state during the Civil War and its complicated founding. It’s a great retrospective that I’m sure will be referenced for years to come in the Springfield area.

FINALIST

Entry Title: 100-year-old Unsolved Murder Mystery Haunts Maryville

Entry Credit: Ashley Bohle, WVLT, Knoxville

Judge Comment: It’s challenging to rank this with these longer documentaries, but it’s great explanatory journalism nonetheless on a topic that’s clearly well-known in the region. In some ways, small pieces like that can be more challenging, so I want to choose it as an alternate winner.

FEATURES – NEWSPAPERS

WINNER

Entry Title: Tom Slaughter series

Entry Credit: Celia Storey, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: This is an incredible work of journalism to gather and present so much information, original sources, and then to also have a nice, if long, main story.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Black Women Firefighters on Gulf Coast

Entry Credit: Stacey Cato, Mississippi Free Press

Judge Comment: This was a great look into pioneers in firefighting. The reporter asked great questions and was able to reveal a great deal.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Pearl Harbor

Entry Credit: Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, The Richmond News, Richmond, MO

Judge Comment: Good story that presents history in a historical format.

FEATURES – MAGAZINES

WINNER

Entry Title: Within Their Hearts, She Lives Forever

Entry Credit: Dustin Jayroe, AY’s Mental Health Guide, Little Rock

Judge Comment: One of the best, and most heartbreaking, features I have ever read. Amazing job telling this story.

FINALIST

Entry Title: TOMMY SMITH

Entry Credit: Kelley Bass, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock

Judge Comment: I was fascinated by this story, and it made me want to know even more about this man. This story was very well done. Fantastic job.

FINALIST

Entry Title: All Dogs Go to Gary

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, AY Magazine, Little Rock

Judge Comment: The ending quote of this story was perfect. I was hooked throughout. Great job.

FEATURES – ONLINE ONLY

WINNER

Entry Title: At 96, Charlie Payne brings the hurt on the golf course

Entry Credit: Joel Phelps, The Arkadelphian, Arkadelphia, AR

Judge Comment: Nice job of intertwining Charlie Payne’s golf game with his history.

FINALISTS

Entry Title: Missouri Inmates Sew Custom Quilts for Foster Children: ‘It Kind Of Breaks Your Heart’

Entry Credit: Shahla Farzan, St. Louis Public Radio

Entry Title: The mess in Room 304: ‘Breaking Bad’ at Henderson State

Entry Credit: Debra Hale-Shelton, Benjamin Hardy, Arkansas Nonprofit News Network

FEATURES – RADIO/AUDIO

WINNER

Entry Title: Missouri’s Oldest One-Room African American Schoolhouse Gets a New Chance At Life

Entry Credit: Marissanne Lewis-Thompson, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: I love the research the journalist put into finding out more about the building, and, especially, her ability to find characters (especially Doris) I’m likely to remember for a while. She also brings the story forward by explaining efforts to preserve the building and capture its history, and overall, I find this to be a snapshot of something the St. Louis community clearly finds important. It’s the definition of a great radio feature.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Rolla Becomes a Hub For Vacuum Cleaner Enthusiasts

Entry Credit: Jonathan Ahl, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: NPR stations were built on stories like the postcard from Rolla. It’s a quirky event with amazing characters, excellent sound, and facts about something I had never thought about before. It is clearly a worthy winner with humor, creativity, and clarity.

Competition Comment: This was an extremely close call because both of these are spectacular stories that are made so much better by the medium of radio.

FEATURES – TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: Remembering 9/11: Arkansas woman remembers flight attendant sister killed in terrorist attack

Entry Credit: Chelsea Helms, Brad Horn, KNWA News

Judge Comment: Great use of natural sound, archive video, visuals weaving in with interviews. Felt connected to the story.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Teen with terminal cancer digitally documents battle to leave behind a legacy

Entry Credit: Chelsea Helms, Brad Horn, KNWA News

Judge Comment: Emotional story told compassionately.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Remembering 9/11: Fort Smith woman captured some of the most notable photos of act of terror

Entry Credit: Chelsea Helms, Brad Horn, KNWA News

Judge Comment: Every interesting story. Great use of archive video/sound while weaving in present day interview as the photographer described what she saw.

EDITORIALS – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: Pit, read

Entry Credit: Rick Kron, The Leader Newspaper, Jacksonville, AR

Judge Comment: Nice editorials with a resounding message of problem and injustice.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Mark Carter Editor’s Letters

Entry Credit: Mark Carter, Arkansas Money & Politics

Judge Comment: Nice, heartfelt pieces with great meaning and lessons.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Conservative Cronyism

Entry Credit: Edward Brown, Fort Worth Weekly

Judge Comment: Nice submission with great detail provided and connecting of dots. The only thing I’d like to have seen is one more submission at a conclusion point.

COMMENTARY – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: Racism and Police Violence in Today’s Mississippi

Entry Credit: Leo Carney, Mississippi Free Press

Judge Comment: These columns are moral without being sentimental, packed with reporting and history to back up pointed commentary speaking truth to power and to fellow citizens.

FINALIST

Entry Title: School districts correct to mandate masks

Entry Credit: Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, The Richmond News

Judge Comment: Despite the pushback it likely received in its time, this strong editorial speaks bravely on behalf of people and the common good and calls out harmful messaging on public health.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Karen Martin columns

Entry Credit: Karen Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

SPORTS – NEWSPAPERS

WINNER

Entry Title: Stickball World Series Back After COVID Halt

Entry Credit: Roger Amos, Mississippi Free Press

Judge Comment: Excellent piece on cultural heritage, exposing the rich pride and traditions carried out by Native Americans in Mississippi. Also enjoyed the use of multimedia video.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Worst to First

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Catholic Newspaper Judge Comment: Really nice underdog tale with great details from the early days of the program.

FINALIST

Entry Title: SEC win

Entry Credit: Tom Murphy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: Very nice gamer story. Only thing I would’ve liked to see was maybe a little info on the significance of the achievement for the Razorbacks program.

SPORTS – MAGAZINES

WINNER

Entry Title: No Greater Love Than This

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Money & Politics

Judge Comment: This was an outstanding story that appeals to all kinds of different readers, which makes it even better. Football fans and those who know nothing about the sport could each find enjoyment in here. I was hooked from the very beginning. Outstanding!

FINALIST

Entry Title: COLLEGE SPORTS AND NIL: A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, Arkansas Money & Politics

Judge Comment: This story dove deep on a topic that many people don’t know very much about. It was easy to understand and explained everything well. Very well done.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Higher Power

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, AY Magazine

Judge Comment: This was a highly emotional story that a lot of people would be able to relate to. It made me want to learn more about the entire family, which is a sign of a job well done. Great job!

SPORTS – RADIO/AUDIO & TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: In a New Year’s Day battle of soccer and sausage, St. Louis takes on the Metro East in Chorizo Bowl

Entry Credit: Brian Munoz, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: Using sports as an avenue to highlight a community’s culture, food, and history, was brilliant in the Saint Louis Public Radio story. Though there’s very little tape of an actual sport being played, the spirit of competition, playing to make family and friends proud, and true love for athletics, is present throughout.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Cowboys Legend talks Hall of Fame

Entry Credit: Monica Quintero, KPEJ, Odessa

ARTS & CULTURE – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: Ride of a Lifetime

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for 501 Life Magazine

Judge Comment: Dwain Hebda has a way with words. His writing paints pictures and takes readers on a journey.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Hidden No More

Entry Credit: Dustin Jayroe, AY Magazine

FINALIST

Entry Title: Martin arts coverage

Entry Credit: Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

ARTS & CULTURE – RADIO/AUDIO

WINNER

Entry Title: St. Louis Arts Coverage

Entry Credit: Jeremy Goodwin, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: Excellent soundscape and diversity of voices in the Shakespeare piece.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Evensong Story

Entry Credit: Paul Ladd, World Christian Broadcasting

ARTS & CULTURE – TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: Eat It Up

Entry Credit: Amanda Jaeger , Skot Covert, Kelly Tibbit, Zach Keast, THV-11, Little Rock Judge Comment: Eat it up shines, and this is the reason I chose it as the winner, because it presents the perfect balance between host personality and newsiness. The Cajun food truck piece especially highlighted a really inspiring business owner who deserves to have his story told, and it certainly made me want to visit the region and try some gumbo.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Arts & Culture in the Basin

Entry Credit: Monica Quintero, KPEJ

Judge Comment: The Texas culture pieces are a bit more straightforward and newsy, with solid tracking shots, nice lines and an eye for great historical context.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Mornings On The Move

Entry Credit: Casey Wheeless, Harry Sullivan, WVLT

Judge Comment: The mornings on the move segment is all about the personalities of the anchors, and as a viewer in the area I imagine I’d love to be able to know a little bit more about the people that present the news to me every day.

BUSINESS – PRINT/ONLINE & TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: ADG Business Coverage

Entry Credit: Nathan Owen, John Magsam, Noel Oman, Staci Vandagriff, Arkansas Democrat- Gazette

Judge Comment: The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s business desk had a great selection of stories to choose from. The quotes in “Businesses lament lack of staffers” by Nathan Owens made the story engaging. The “Lumber prices rocket on demand surge” article used great data points that pushed the story forward.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Business Boondoggles in Rural Mississippi

Entry Credit: Christian Middleton, Mississippi Free Press

FINALIST

Entry Title: Basin Businesses – People Behind them

Entry Credit: Monica Quintero, KPEJ

Judge Comment: None

EDUCATION – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: ADG Education Coverage

Entry Credit: Jaime Adame, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: Neutral, comprehensive, clear coverage that shows evidence of dogged reporting to sniff out the facts for the public.

FINALIST

Entry Title: BWC Project: Education Disparities and Solutions in Noxubee County

Entry Credit: Torsheta Jackson, Donna Ladd, Kristin Brenemen, Mississippi Free Press

FINALIST

Entry Title: Bucking the Odds

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, Arkansas Money & Politics

EDUCATION – TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: Education Compilation

Entry Credit: Ashley Bohle, WVLT

Judge Comment: I really enjoyed the versatility in the compilation. The butter piece is of course delightful, and it really works perfectly for the visual medium. I also enjoyed the day 2 coverage after the capitol riot from an interesting education perspective (wish it was longer!) and the bus drivers one gets a whole lot of information to the viewer in a short amount of time. Excellent reporting overall.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Molding a middle schooler’s mind with movement

Entry Credit: Chelsea Helms, Brad Horn, Jacob Cotner, KNWA News

Judge Comment: The middle school piece is also well-done with nice video shots and a nice array of voices highlighting the program.

HEALTH – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: Child abuse investigation

Entry Credit: Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: Outstanding reporting and writing, analyzing several years’ worth of public information from numerous agencies and a fight for records that were denied, to uncover surprising and informative patterns within a serious social and public health problem.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Solutions for Health Equity in Mississippi

Entry Credit: Nick Judin, Mississippi Free Press

Judge Comment: A solid solutions story about COVID-19 vaccine outreach efforts aiming for communities where trust, for many, has been lost.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Free at Last

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

SCIENCE – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: Dark Skies, Strange Clouds

Entry Credit: Dustin Jayroe, AY Magazine

Judge Comment: A creative writing style made this entry stand out, along with the unique and important topic covered in detail. The first-hand journal entries included by the writer also brought the reader into the moment and truly provided a unique experience.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Using Tech to Reverse Inequities

Entry Credit: Aliyah Veal, Mississippi Free Press

Judge Comment: Each story told the story of a different social issue and how technology was being used to address it. Good job on a solid series of articles that displays the intersection between science and humanity.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Finding Normal: Vaccines Ready, Incoming

Entry Credit: Dustin Jayroe, AY Magazine

Judge Comment: This was a very detailed account of the state’s battle to provide adequate vaccinations for COVID-19 as it plagued the rest of the country. Good job providing your readers essential information and explaining it well.

ENVIRONMENT – PRINT/ONLINE & TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: Lead Contamination of Black Jackson Children

Entry Credit: Kayode Crown, Mississippi Free Press

Judge Comment: A lot going on in this story. The news hook of an outside attorney suing on behalf of hundreds of local kids leads the story, but then there is this killer quote buried down low: “And so, in Flint, even if everybody drank as much water as they could, they were only drinking bad water for 14 or 15 months,” the attorney added. “In Jackson, they’ve been drinking bad water, in some instances, for their whole lives.” Good reporting trying to put all the pieces of this tragedy together under one headline.

PANDEMIC – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: Delta Dangers to Mississippi, and U.S., Children

Entry Credit: Ashton Pittman, Mississippi Free Press

Judge Comment: Comprehensive look at the pandemic and children. Well researched and reported.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Arkansas pandemic coverage

Entry Credit: Andrew DeMillo, The Associate Press

FINALIST

Entry Title: Pandemic Coverage

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

PANDEMIC – RADIO/AUDIO & TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: St. Louis Public Radio pandemic coverage

Entry Credit: Sarah Fentem, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: Excellent in-depth series presented on radio and web covering pandemic from multiple angles over several months.

FINALIST

Entry Title: COVID-19 Infections Become the New Frontier of Work Comp Claims

Entry Credit: Brian Calfano, KOLR-TV

FINALIST

Entry Title: Mom Leaves Workforce to Homeschool Kids

Entry Credit: Ashley Bohle, WVLT

POLITICS – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: Digs of the Deal Series

Entry Credit: Katie Zakrzewski, Arkansas Money & Politics

Judge Comment: This was a great idea! The series stood out from other entries, which were largely traditional political news stories, and delved deeply into local landmarks, their place in history and was still able to convey the important political issues at play. Well done!

FINALIST

Entry Title: Lockwood politics beat

Entry Credit: Frank Lockwood, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: This was a harrowing account of the Jan. 6 insurrection, which will become one of the most infamous days in history as time goes on. I enjoyed all the detail and the unique perspective of the reporter woven with coverage of the state’s congressional leaders’ reactions.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Political Coverage

Entry Credit: Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press

Judge Comment: None

POLITICS – RADIO/AUDIO &TV/VIDEO

WINNER

Entry Title: Ozarks Tonight: Gas Price Dynamics

Entry Credit: Brian Calfano, KOLR-TV

Judge Comment: Very intelligent use of data reporting to isolate the small role politics plays in pricing at the gas pump.

FINALIST

Entry Title: In Post-Trump GOP Split, Gov. Asa Hutchinson Often at Odds with His Party

Entry Credit: Daniel Breen, NPR/KUAR

FINALIST

Entry Title: Sarah Huckabee Sanders kicks off 15-stop tour in campaign for Arkansas governor

Entry Credit: Michael Hibblen, KUAR-FM 89.1

SPECIAL SECTION – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: Black Women, Systemic Barriers and COVID-19 Project

Entry Credit: DeAnna Tisdale Johnson, Azia Wiggins, Torsheta Jackson, Aliyah Veal, Kimberly Griffin, Kristin Brenemen, Donna Ladd, Mississippi Free Press

Judge Comment: An outstanding project by a team of journalists using superior written and visual journalism to trace historic roots of a public health phenomenon, educate on the consequences of systemic inequities, and illuminate solutions, all in an engaging digital package. Exceptional work.

FINALIST

Entry Title: 2021 Arkansas Mental Health Guide

Entry Credit: Heather Baker, Dustin Jayroe, Jamison Mosley, Mike Bedgood, Lora Puls, Emily Beirne, AY Magazine

Judge Comment: Stories like those in this special section highlight healing and hope, involving different faces and ages, both lifting the stigma of talking about behavioral or mental health and presenting resources to help others take the next step.

FINALIST

Entry Title: HOBBIES IN THE 501

Entry Credit: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for 501 Life Magazine

PODCASTS – PRINT/ONLINE & STUDENT MEDIA

WINNER

Entry Title: Capitol & Scott

Entry Credit: Nick Popowitch, Lara Farrar, ArkansasOnline.com/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Judge Comment: Both entries are good podcasts, but Capitol and Scott is slightly more professional and well-produced. The sound quality could be a bit better, but otherwise, this is a very interesting podcast. Nicely done!

FINALIST

Entry Title: Reveille’s Tiger Talk Podcast

Entry Credit: Nick Ombrellaro, Gabby Jimenez, Piper Hutchinson, Reed Darcey, Dylan Sanders

Judge Comment: Very solid campus-based podcast with good sound quality. Well done!

PHOTOGRAPHY – BREAKING NEWS

WINNER

Entry Title: Stuttgart Flooding

Entry Credit: Thomas Metthe, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: This photo places the viewer there with the victims of what is clearly a devastating moment. The hurt is visible in those in the foreground, the helplessness of those in the background is palpable, and the scope of the flooding can be felt in the entire frame. Still, in all of the sadness, there’s a sense of hope with the person in the boat being removed from the situation. This photo tells so much of the story.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Warehouse Fire

Entry Credit: Thomas Metthe, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: The devastation of this fire is obvious, as is the hopelessness of being able to put it out.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Voting Bill Protest

Entry Credit: Stephen Swofford, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: This captures what is clearly a unique moment, and it does so from a unique perspective.

PHOTO SPREAD/ESSAY

WINNER

Entry Title: Thousands of high schoolers put music in motion this weekend at the Dome in St. Louis

Entry Credit: Brian Munoz, St. Louis Public Radio

Judge Comment: Good angles and composition, and a couple of nice moments.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Oaklawn Opening Day

Entry Credit: Thomas Metthe, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Competition Comment: A spread, or essay, should be more than many pictures of the same thing. The two noted here did that, and the winner even found a couple of light moments.

PHOTO PORTFOLIO

WINNER

Entry Title: Vandagriff Portfolio

Entry Credit: Staci Vandagriff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Competition Comment: The top three could have gone another way on another day. All had a couple of good images with a couple of weak ones. While the other two may have had more pretty pictures, the winner wins because she was looking for fleeting moments and found them.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Mosley Portfolio

Entry Credit: Jamison Mosley, AY Media Group

FINALIST

Entry Title: Metthe Portfolio

Entry Credit: Thomas Metthe, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

DATA VISUALIZATION

WINNER

Entry Title: Arkansas congressional district boundaries

Entry Credit: Jen Para, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: Impressive use of Datawrapper capabilities to link between several kinds of maps. That there are so many proposals, the time invested in acquiring, vetting and presenting this data is not trivial.

GRAPHICS/ILLUSTRATIONS

WINNER

Entry Title: Carrie Hill art and graphics

Entry Credit: Carrie Hill, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge Comment: The Covid timeline for the one-year mark of the pandemic provides insightful context about the subject that – in retrospect – is dizzying. The Covid illustration meanwhile mixes a playfulness with the seriousness of the effects that the pandemic had on food service. The third illustration in this entry is just plain fun. Nice work.

VIDEO JOURNALISM – PORTFOLIO

WINNER

Entry Title: Monica Quintero – Passionate about People

Entry Credit: Monica Quintero, KPEJ, Odessa

Judge Comment: Very nice video editing and production values. A pleasure to watch!

FINALIST

Entry Title: Stephen Goodale Video Portfolio

Entry Credit: Stephen Goodale, KARK/KLRT, Little Rock

Judge Comment: Good content, but the videos were a bit hectic at times. Editing could be a bit tighter.

VIDEO JOURNALISM – THEMED PROGRAMMING

WINNER

Entry Title: Be Our Change – Positive, Inspirational Stories

Entry Credit: Monica Quintero, KPEJ

Judge Comment: Entertaining and fun profiles that have a point of view and a voice that resonates easily with the viewer.

DESIGN – PRINT/ONLINE

WINNER

Entry Title: AMP Layouts

Entry Credit: Jamison Mosley, Lora Puls, Arkansas Money & Politics

Judge Comment: I found these entries to be design appropriate for the stories and carried an understated – yet powerful – use of color, iconography and typography to allow the images and words to breathe and resonate with the reader.

FINALIST

Entry Title: AY Layouts

Entry Credit: Jamison Mosley, Lora Puls, AY Magazine

FINALIST

Entry Title: The Yellow Army

Entry Credit: Sarah Knight, Dwain Hebda, Jason Masters, Ashlee Nobel, Wheelhouse Publishing, Mountain Home, AR

WEB/MOBILE DESIGN

WINNER

Entry Title: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / ArkansasOnline.com

Entry Credit: Maggie McNeary

Judge Comment: Article pages are clean with room for large images and inline embeds. Pages load fast and scale well across mobile devices and responsive breakpoints.

STUDENT – SPECIAL PROJECTS

WINNER

Entry Title: The day a white killed four Black men

Entry Credit: Rachel Mipro, Liz Ryan, Lara Nicholson, Louisiana State University, Manship News Service, Baton Rouge, published in The Shreveport Times, The Advertiser (Lafayette), The Town Talk (Alexandria), The Daily Comet (Thibodaux)

Judge Comment: I applaud these journalists and editors and all of the others who collaborated on this project to bring the past into greater context through the lens of a modern-day perspective.

FINALIST

Entry Title: COVID roundtable with Brimer sisters

Entry Credit: Alena Noakes, Wildcat Media, Louisiana Christian University (formerly Louisiana College), Pineville

Judge Comment: Incredibly informative and bringing three sisters together who have experienced the pandemic in different ways yet have so much in common is enlightening.

STUDENT – BREAKING NEWS

WINNER

Entry Title: English professor removed from classes for fall 2021

Entry Credit: Addison Freeman, The Echo, University of Central Arkansas, Conway

Judge Comment: Great coverage of an issue that can be difficult to cover but is quite important to those on campus. Great depth of coverage, including from the professor at the center of the controversy. This story embodies so much of what journalism is about.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Students protest LSU’s handling of former French student accused of rape: ‘Safe not silenced’

Entry Credit: Maddie Scott, Domenic Purdy, Reveille, LSUReveille.com

FINALIST

Entry Title: Ida and LSU

Entry Credit: Ally Kadlubar, Aria Pons, Erin Rogers, Tiger TV, LSU

STUDENT – FEATURES

WINNER

Entry Title: Segregated Cemeteries Still Haunt Louisiana

Entry Credit: Ally Kadlubar, Tiger TV, LSU

Judge Comment: Excellent use of digital storytelling to enhance the written story and increase credibility. Good variety of source support with solid video editing and shot selection. The story keeps a clear focus and moves along well. Newsworthy topic choice.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Lights, Camera, Drag

Entry Credit: Maria Pham, Tiger TV, LSU

Judge Comment: Newsworthy topic choice that fit the feature style well! Good variety of interviews with a clear focus. The story moves along well but could be edited tighter at times. Focus on maintaining good lighting as much as possible.

FINALIST

Entry Title: ‘It was a ride’: Clay Schexnayder went from racing cars to leading the Louisiana House

Entry Credit: Kathleen Peppo, Manship News Service, LSU, published in The Advertiser (Lafyette)

Judge Comment: Great quotes! The story moves along nicely with clear transitions and helpful section breaks. The focus of the piece is clear throughout. I suggest adding other viewpoints (interviews) to the story along with some digital storytelling to enhance the reader experience.

STUDENT – SPORTS

WINNER

Entry Title: Side by Side, Lane by Lane

Entry Credit: Kendall Duncan, Tiger TV, LSU

Judge Comment: Excellent storytelling! Solid interviews and footage to capture the relationship between the brothers and the overall family dynamic. Newsworthy story with a clear focus.

FINALIST

Entry Title: LSU Diver Makes a Splash

Entry Credit: Haylee Kennedy, Tiger TV, LSU

Judge Comment: Newsworthy story with a clear focus! I suggest adding one more interview here from a teammate or family member to include that personal touch.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Collis Temple Jr. helped integrate LSU athletics 50 years ago

Entry Credit: Peter Rauterkus, Reveille/LSUReveille.com

Judge Comment: Newsworthy story that reads well. Good use of photos to help tell the story throughout. I suggest conducting additional interviews to help round out the piece.

STUDENT – EDITORIALS

WINNER

Entry Title: Reveille Editorials

Entry Credit: Reveille Editorial Board, Reveille/LSUReveille.com

Judge Comment: The winning editorial not only presented a well thought out opinion but used extensive reporting to support the conclusions.

Entry Title: Being a student does not make less of a journalist or reporter Entry Credit: Madison Ogle, The Echo, University of Central Arkansas Judge Comment: This was a thoughtful, personal editorial.

FINALIST

Entry Title: UCA moving toward more inclusivity in women’s sports Entry Credit: Sarah Smythe, The Echo, University of Central Arkansas Judge Comment: Good reporting to support the argument made.

STUDENT – COMMENTARY

WINNER

Entry Title: LSU’s responses to sexual assaults

Entry Credit: Claire Sullivan, Reveille/LSU Reveille.com

Judge Comment: Excellent use of facts to justify commentary. Strong voice! Newsworthy topic.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Social media doesn’t need your sonogram photos

Entry Credit: Olyvia Gonzalez, The Echo, University of Central Arkansas

Judge Comment: Strong column voice!

FINALIST

Entry Title: On renaming campus buildings

Entry Credit: Charlie Stephens, Reveille/LSUReveille.com

STUDENT – BUSINESS

WINNER

Entry Title: Transgender Bills Could Hurt Tourism

Entry Credit: Brooke Smith, Tiger TV, LSU

Judge Comment: The broadcast clip carries a professional tone and has a narrative structure that propels the viewer through a number of different scenarios and the potential effects on the state.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Flower Shortage

Entry Credit: Ally Kadlubar, Tiger TV, LSU

Judge Comment: Framing takes a national issue – the supply chain shortage – and brings a local lens to how it affects a particular local business segment. This is what we do in journalism, and I think it’s executed very well.

Entry Title: ‘Another blow’: 7,500 Louisiana oil and gas jobs lost in pandemic, furthering industry’s decline

Entry Credit: Brittney Forbes, Manship News Service, LSU, published in Houma Today

STUDENT – EDUCATION

WINNER

Entry Title: Faculty Senate enters unlawful executive session during meeting, kicks out non- Senate members

Entry Credit: Piper Hutchinson, Reveille/LSUReveille.com

Judge Comment: Great job by the reporter and others to investigate this matter, talk to people who were actually in the executive session, and hold the board’s feet to the fire on this.

FINALIST

Entry Title: ‘It’s very discouraging’: Louisiana teachers grapple with challenges of ongoing pandemic

Entry Credit: Margaret DeLaney, Olivia Varden, Chris Langley, Manship News Service, LSU, published in The News-Star (Monroe)

Judge Comment: Good reporting added to trend data make it a good story.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Pros and cons: How Louisiana college students were impacted by online learning Entry Credit: Masie O’Toole, Kirby Koch, Donald Fountain, Manship News Service, LSU, published in The Town Talk (Alexandria)

Judge Comment: It was nice to hear from a variety of students on their experiences.

STUDENT – NEWS PHOTO

WINNER

Entry Title: Gas leak

Entry Credit: Mia Waddell, The Echo, University of Central Arkansas

Judge Comment: Nice framing of the key aspects, nice focus on the action, too, but with the mailbox in view for perspective. The trees provide a perfect backdrop as well that direct attention to the central aspects of the photo.

FINALIST

Entry Title: AUTO COLLISION

Entry Credit: Rangsiya Faihin, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro

FINALIST

Entry Title: Collage

Entry Credit: Ian Lyle, The Echo, University of Central Arkansas

STUDENT – FEATURE PHOTO

WINNER

Entry Title: SEARCHING FOR BLACKBERRIES

Entry Credit: Rangsiya Faihin, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro

Judge Comment: Nice framing, great color and well framed. Great capture of a nice moment.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Drag Show

Entry Credit: Madison Ogle, Addison Freeman, The Echo, University of Central Arkansas

FINALIST

Entry Title: Homecoming

Entry Credit: Madison Ogle, The Echo, University of Central Arkansas

STUDENT – PHOTO SPREAD/ESSAY

WINNER

Entry Title: LINEMEN AT WORK

Entry Credit: Rangsiya Faihin, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University

Judge Comment: What the judges liked about this entry is the photographer took something that is somewhat mundane and turned it into art and a story at the same time. Great use of tight and wide shots to convey the work.

FINALIST

Entry Title: ARKANSAS ROOTS MUSIC FESTIVAL

Entry Credit: Rangsiya Faihin, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University

FINALIST

Entry Title: ROAD SIGN WORK

Entry Credit: Rangsiya Faihin, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University

STUDENT – PHOTO PORTFOLIO

WINNER

Entry Title: LC v. ETBU, 23-17; LC v. LeTourneau, 90-65

Entry Credit: Alena Noakes, Wildcat Media, Louisiana Christian University

Judge Comment: Fantastic collection of photos with a variety of subjects, lighting and techniques.

STUDENT – GRAPHICS/ILLUSTRATIONS

WINNER

Entry Title: Oct. 6, 2021 cartoon

Entry Credit: Madison Ogle, The Echo, University of Central Arkansas

Judge Comment: The five-panels build an engaging, newsy story and the illustrations provide contextual detail to deliver the hammer in the final frame. Great concept.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Look at those sheep; Scary costume ideas

Entry Credit: Sam Miller, Wildcat Media, Louisiana Christian University

Judge Comment: “Look at those sheep” provides the right balance between disbelief and side- eye snark at a newsy topic that all can relate to.

FINALIST

Entry Title: Sept. 15, 2021, cartoon

Entry Credit: Madison Ogle, The Echo, University of Central ArkansasJudge Comment: Straightforward and poignant and tone-appropriate for the anniversary.

Arkansas SPJ announces candidates for the 2022-2023 Board of Directors

Candidates for Arkansas SPJ’s 2022-2023 Board of Directors include past board members Steve Listopad for president; Sonny Albarado for vice president; Rob Moritz for treasurer; and Jennifer Ellis, Wesley Brown, Brittany Reese, Ebony Harding-Kendrick, Linda Garner-Bunch and Andrew DeMillo. In addition, new candidates for the board include Lance Brownfield, editor in chief of the Malvern Daily Record and Brenda Lepenski, a general assignment reporter at KATV Channel 7 News. There are currently no candidates for secretary on the 11-member board. Voting will take place at the Diamond Journalism Awards and annual meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at Diamond Bear Brewing Co. in North Little Rock.

2022 Diamond Journalism Awards finalists named

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the finalists for its 2022 Diamond Journalism Awards, a regional competition that recognizes journalism excellence among professionals and students from Arkansas and six bordering states.

Arkansas SPJ will present the winners at an awards ceremony on June 30 at Diamond Bear Brewing, 600 N Broadway, North Little Rock. A reception starts at 5:30 p.m. with the awards presentations starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for professionals and $10 for students, including heavy hors d’oeuvres and libations. Purchase tickets by PayPal or cash/check at the door.

This year’s competition for work published or broadcast in 2021 drew 379 entries in more than 80 categories, including Diamond Journalist of the Year and Outstanding New Journalist, the Robert S. McCord FOI Award, the Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder Public Service Award, and the Garrick Feldman Community Journalism Award.

Judges were members of the SPJ chapters in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

The list of finalists follows, along with the publications or broadcast outlets where their work appeared:

The Arkadelphian, Arkadelphia, Ark.

Joel Phelps

Arkansas Catholic, Little Rock

Dwain Hebda

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Lara Farrar, Stephen Simpson, Joseph Flaherty, Thomas Metthe, Stephen Swofford, Maggie McNeary, Carrie Hill, Ginny Monk, Philip Martin, Karen Martin, Byron Tate, Tess Vrbin, Staci Vandagriff, Teresa Moss, Ashton Eley, Celia Storey, Tom Murphy, Nathan Owen, John Magsam, Noel Oman, Jaime Adame, Frank Lockwood, Nick Popovich. Jen Para

Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock

Mark Carter, Kelley Bass, Katie Zakrzewski

Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, Little Rock

Rebekah Scott, Benjamin Hardy, Debra Hale-Shelton

The Associated Press, Little Rock

Andrew DeMillo, Adrian Sainz, Jill Bleed

AY Magazine, Little Rock

Dustin Jayroe, Jamison Mosley, Lora Puls, Ian Lyle, Dwain Hebda, Heather Baker, Mike Bedgood, Emily Beirne

Baxter Regional Pulse, Mountain Home, Ark.

Sarah Knight, Jason Masters, Ashlee Nobel, Dwain Hebda

The Daily Citizen, Searcy, Ark.

Greg Geary

Fort Worth Weekly, Texas

Edward Brown

FOX16 News, KLRT-TV, Little Rock

Kevin Kelly, Stephen Goodale, Jessica Guy

KOLR-TV, Springfield, Mo.

Brian Calfano, Sarah Scarlett

KNWA-TV, Fayetteville, Ark.

Chad Mira, Chelsea Helms, Brad Horn, Jacob Cotner

KPEJ-TV, Midland-Odessa, Texas

Monica Quintero

KTHV-11, Little Rock

Amanda Jaeger, Skot Covert, Kelly Tibbit, Zach Keast

KUAR-FM, Little Rock

Michael Hibblen, Daniel Breen, Sarah Kellogg, Alexandria Brown

The Leader Newspaper, Jacksonville, Ark.

Rick Kron

Mississippi Free Press, Jackson

Ashton Pittman, Christian Middleton, Donna Ladd, Aliyah Veal, Torsheta Jackson, Nick Judin, Kayode Crown, Grace Marion, Stacey Cato, Leo Carney, Roger Amos, DeAnna Tisdale Johnson, Azia Wiggins, Kimberly Griffin

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, Memphis, Tenn.

Jacob Steimer

Richmond News, Missouri

Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia

Riverfront Times, St. Louis

Danny Wicentowski

St. Louis Public Radio

Jason Rosenbaum, Shahla Farzan, Chad Davis, Marissanne Lewis-Thompson, Andrea Henterson, Jonathan Ahl, Brian Munoz, Jeremy Goodwin, Sarah Fentem

World Christian Broadcasting, Franklin, Tenn.

Paul Ladd

WVLT-TV, Knoxville, Tenn.

Ashley Bohle, Casey Wheeless, Harry Sullivan

STUDENT MEDIA

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

Reveille/LSUReveille.com

Nick Ombrellaro, Gabby Jimenez, Piper Hutchinson, Maddie Scott, Domenic Purdy, Peter Rauterkus, Claire Sullivan, Charlie Stephens

Tiger TV

Ally Kadlubar, Aria Pons, Erin Rogers, Maria Pham, Kendall Duncan, Haylee Kennedy, Brooke Smith

Manship News Service

Rachel Mipro, Liz Ryan, Lara Nicholson, Kathleen Peppo, Brittney Forbes, Margaret Delaney, Olivia Varden, Chris Langley, Masie O’Toole, Kirby Koch, Donald Fountain

Arkansas State University, Jonesboro

Delta Digital News Service

Christine Miyawa, Tristan Bennett, Krishnan Collins, Chase Gage, Rangsiya Faihin

University of Central Arkansas, Conway

The Echo

Addison Freeman, Ian Lyle, Madison Ogle, Sarah Smythe, Olyvia Gonzalez, Mia Waddell

Louisiana Christian University, Pineville

Wildcat Media

Alena Noakes, Sam Miller

CALL FOR CANDIDATES: Arkansas SPJ seeks members for 2022-23 Board of Directors DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 16

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will hold its annual board election at a membership mixer in June. Want to get involved? Consider running for a seat.

The Arkansas SPJ Board of Directors has 11 seats that are up for election each year, including executive officers: president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.

Check out the following duties and responsibilities of board members and consider running for the board or an officer position. Send a photo and a brief bio that tells why you want to serve as an SPJ leader, your history with SPJ and what you will bring to the group, including any ideas you have for the coming year, to Arkansas SPJ President Steven Listopad at slistopad@icloud.com by Monday, May 16 (extended deadline).

A list of candidates and their bios will be posted 30 days prior to the election and emailed to our membership. Voting will take place at the annual meeting (time/date/location to be decided) and via email for those who can’t attend.

Don’t want to be a board member? Get involved in one of our committees.

ARKANSAS PRO CHAPTER BOARD
Duties and Responsibilities
To ensure the health of the Society of Professional Journalists Arkansas Pro Chapter, the members of the Board of Directors must be current on national dues and be accountable for the following duties and responsibilities:

Attendance
The Board of Directors meets monthly and sometimes calls special meetings via phone or email. Board members must attend a minimum of nine monthly meetings during their July-to-June term of office, but strive to make it to all meetings in-person or by Zoom. Absence from three consecutive meetings, or four or more monthly meetings during their term, will result in the appointment of a new director to the position.

Participation
Board members must actively participate in at least one of the following chapter committees: Freedom of Information Act, Programing, Contests, Membership and Marketing, or other special committees designated by the president. Active participation may include planning at least one event in a year, advancement of the FOIA through lobbying, contributions to the chapter’s website, newsletter or social media campaigns, or other efforts determined by the board.