2019 Diamond Journalism Awards announced

2018 DIAMOND JOURNALISM AWARDS ANNOUNCED

LITTLE ROCK — A reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was named the Diamond Journalist of the Year, and reporters for the Jackson Free Press won the Community Service, Freedom of Information and Outstanding New Journalist awards in the 2019 Diamond Journalism Awards, sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The awards were presented June 25 at Little Rock’s Flying Saucer and honor work published or broadcast between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018.

The awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

This year’s competition included 162 entries judged by members of the East Tennessee Pro Chapter of SPJ, none of whom competed in the 2019 Diamond Journalism Awards.

2019 Diamond Journalism Award winners

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Eric Besson of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is named the 2019 Diamond Journalist of the Year. Besson also won the award in 2017.

Diamond Journalist of the Year (special award)

1st – Eric Besson of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge’s comment: Mr. Besson’s work displays exemplary attention to detail when it matters most – demanding accountability on issues affecting the public. Besson effectively and plainly states the facts for each investigation. He has also introduced me to my favorite new word: morass. Wonderful.

Outstanding New Journalist (special award)

1st – Ashton Pittman of the Jackson Free Press

Judge’s comment: Ashton Pittman provides impressive depth and context to his reporting. He brings a much-needed historical perspective to current political stories.

2nd – Hannah Grabenstein of the Associated Press

3rd – Clara Turnage of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Community Service (special award)

1st – Donna Ladd and Arielle Dreher of the Jackson Free Press for “Gang wars in Mississippi”

Judge’s comment: Excellent example of community-service journalism with a significant impact.

2nd – Lisa Hammersly of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Widow’s tax”

Robert S. McCord Freedom of Information Award (special award)

1st – Donna Ladd, Ko Bragg, Taylor Langele and Marie Weidmayer of the Jackson Free Press for “Transparency in officer-involved shootings”

Judge’s comment: While many questions are yet to be answered, the persistent coverage by the JFP to hold the police accountable must be applauded. This is seeking information and closure for the families affected by these shootings.

2nd – Ron Wood and Greg Harton of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “School superintendent’s firing”

Specialized website (any platform)

1st – Jeanne Roberts, Gavin Lesnick and Mitchell Pe Masilun of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “That moment of chaos”

Judge’s comment: Excellent use of multimedia tools for storytelling to allow the user to engage how they want. You can swim in the shallow end or go to the deep end.

2nd – Rachel Herzog, Brandon Riddle and Polly Irungu of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “From scratch”

3rd – Gavin Lesnick, Nikki Dawes, Ginny Monk, John Moritz and Ryan Tarinelli of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Violent reality”

Slideshow (any platform)

1st – Staff of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “2018 marathon”

Judge’s comment: Fun, entrancing photos capturing the fun for both runners and spectators of the marathon. Composition was great, as well as the reality of the toll taken from a marathon

Multimedia (any platform)

1st – Nikki Dawes of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Gun deaths”

Judge’s comment: A great way to visualize this investigation and compare gun deaths to existence-specific laws by creating a unique dataset based on independent data sources. This is the kind of community-service journalism that is the hallmark of a great – dare we say it? – newspaper. Thanks!

2nd – Gavin Lesnick and Jillian Kremer of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “2018 homicide map”

3rd – Staff of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Remainder of Salt Bowl canceled after fight at War Memorial Stadium spurs panic”

Video portfolio (any platform)

1st – Mitchell Pe Masilun of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “20 years since Arkansas school shooting”

Judge’s comment: none

Arts and culture (daily newspapers)

1st – Philip Martin of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a collection of columns about culture

Judge’s comment: I love the way I’m drawn into these stories. The author is colorful in description without overdoing it. The author is either an expert in country music styles or did great research to draw the reader in.

2nd – Kelly Brant of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a collection of columns about food

Health (daily newspapers)

1st – Kat Stromquist of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Surgeons gain new perspective with 3-D printer”

Judge’s comment: Kat Stromquist’s feature on the medical application of 3-D printing in Arkansas is a clear and interesting read on an incredibly complex topic. Her research, sourcing and reporting are comprehensive, but it’s her storytelling that truly shines. She writes with artistry and clarity in describing 3-D printed pediatric heart models. Her excellent organization, transitions and flow keep us reading, and she exhibits solid style throughout. Necessary titles and affiliations, which could be distracting, are easy to read without losing the thread of the story.

2nd – Emma Pettit of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “The search for mother’s milk”

3rd – Sarah DeClerk of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Family traits: Mother of five prepares three sons for lifelong sickle cell journey”

Politics (daily newspapers)

1st – Rachel Herzog of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for coverage of the Little Rock mayoral election

Judge’s comment: Excellent story telling. I found myself rooting for the candidate during his profile and happy he won. Great job!

2nd – Hunter Field of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for medical marijuana coverage

3rd – Andrew DeMillo of the Associated Press for coverage of the 2018 election

Sports (daily newspapers)

1st – Jeremy Muck of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Salt Bowl cut short”

Judge’s comment: Sportswriters are some of the best deadline writers in journalism because of the nature of their beats. They also have to be ready to become breaking-news reporters. Excellent job of covering a sporting event that became a deadline-news situation in an unexpected venue.

2nd – Bob Holt of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Perfect make, then miss”

3rd – Bob Holt of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Riches not Gafford’s driving force”

Investigative reporting (daily newspapers)

1st – Ginny Monk, John Moritz and Ryan Tarinelli of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Violent reality”

Judge’s comment: none

2nd – Hannah Grabenstein of the Associated Press for “Arkansas schools regularly suspend truant kids despite ban”

3rd – Stephen Steed of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “EPA scientists’ dicamba input went unheeded”

Feature (daily newspapers)

1st – Ginny Monk of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Girl’s mutation a rarity in world”

Judge’s comment: Excellent job in telling a story that can be difficult in discussing DNA and decoding it to find out the mysteries behind disabilities. The details show where this little girl is instead of just telling us the facts.

2nd – Clara Turnage of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Mother’s call for help ends with son’s death”

3rd – Hannah Grabenstein with the Associated Press for “Possible migrant site minutes from former internment camp”

News (daily newspapers)

1st – Bill Bowden of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Tourist boat sinks”

Judge’s comment: Excellent coverage of a tragic event.

2nd – Jill Bleed and Adrian Sainz of the Associated Press for “Bus crash”

3rd – Andrew DeMillo of the Associated Press for “Concern in Arkansas town highlights trade fear in U.S.”

Opinion (daily newspapers)

1st – John Brummett of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a series of columns

Judge’s comment: Really enjoyed the commentary. Well-written and persuasive. The line about it being so hot satanists would willingly be baptized made me cackle. Nice job.

2nd – Elizabeth West of the Ville Platte Gazette for “Farewell to the boss man”

3rd – Philip Martin of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a series of columns

News (magazine)

1st – Johnny Carrol Sain of Arkansas Life magazine for “This little piggy went to market”

Judge’s comment: Interesting look into hog farming – in the past and the present, and the circle that it is taking. Apt comparison between how it used to bring communities together and now seems to drive them apart.

Sports (magazine)

1st – Johnny Carrol Sain of Arkansas Life magazine for “One in the Sain”

Judge’s comment: The essence of sportswriting is to tell a story. Blending rich description and detailed memories, “One in the Sain” keeps the reader hooked until the end.

2nd – Jon Beilue of Hooten’s Arkansas Football for “Professional FASDOG trainer”

3rd – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for “Big dreams: Greenbrier rider has goals inside, outside arena” in 501 Life magazine

Feature (magazine)

1st – Heather Breed Steadham of Arkansas Life magazine for “Lady in waiting”

Judge’s comment: The humor and pacing of this as the writer reviews her pageant days versus what her daughter wants put this feature on top.

2nd – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for “The wow factor” in AY magazine

3rd – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for “The joker: Matt DeCample’s medicine is laughter” in AY magazine

Politics (magazine)

1st – Jordan P. Hickey of Arkansas Life for “MLK gets his day (or The passion of Kelly Duda)”

Judge’s comment: none

2nd – Jacque Walsh, Nathan Poppe and Whitley O’Connor of the Curbside Chronicle for “Curbside Midterm Voter Guide”

Health (magazine)

1st – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for a health series in AY magazine

Judge’s comment: My favorite piece was on ovarian cancer, “The silent killer.” I think you took a complex series of health topics and managed to capture the reader’s attention with a great hook and keep them engaged with beautiful, clear storytelling.

2nd – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for “Reason to believe” in AY magazine

3rd – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for “Left behind: Families and communities deal with life after suicide” in Mental Health Guide

Arts and culture (magazine)

1st – Seth Eli Barlow of Arkansas Life magazine for “Is this the best wine ever produced in Arkansas?”

Judge’s comment: This read more like short story, a wonderful break from reality with a heartbreaking twist at the end. The simplicity of the storytelling, taking us along on the journey from hearing of the tale to visiting the winery, just drew me in. This is probably the best article I have judged in any category this awards season. Bravo!

2nd – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for “Thea Foundation builds moment in charge for arts education in Arkansas” in Soiree magazine

3rd – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for “Primo! Ballet Arkansas” in Do South magazine

News (non-daily newspapers)

1st – Arielle Dreher of the Jackson Free Press for “Battle over education funding”

Judge’s comment: A very significant issue is that of school vouchers. This group of stories on pros and cons of public versus private educational funding used as a human interest story to personalize the issue of inadequate special ed funding in public schools and statistics that showed poor students who moved to private schools with vouchers actually did worse than those still in public school. It showed how a state issue soon became a national battleground, including funding from the Walton and Koch families. It also probed the difference between two plans proposed for the area. Thorough and a good roadmap for reporting on the issue in other communities.

2nd – Shawn Arraj, Rebecca Hennes, R. Hans Miller and Amelia Brust of Community Impact Newspaper for “Hurricane Harvey recovery continues”

3rd – Hannah Zedaker of Community Impact Newspaper for “Tamina community strives to salvage, restore submerged historic cemetery”

Health (non-daily newspapers)

1st – Linda Garner-Bunch of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette‘s Three Rivers Edition for “Led by faith”

Judge’s comment: Linda Garner-Bunch did a great job at taking a complex issue and breaking it down. She does a great job of balancing information with human emotion and storytelling.

2nd – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for “Glory road: Morrilton survivor hosts 5K for cancer research” in Arkansas Catholic

3rd – Tammy Keith of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette‘s River Valley & Ozark Edition for “Russellville runner with autism blazes her own path”

Feature (non-daily newspapers)

1st – Danny Wicentowski of Riverfront Times for “The legend of Allen Barklage”

Judge’s comment: The writer hooked me completely with the drama at the bridge and then followed it up with the punch of the shooting and how it would haunt him. I wanted to know more about this man.

2nd – Rick Kron of The Leader for a four-part series about suicide

3rd – Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia of Richmond Daily News for “A trial and trail of death”

Arts and culture (non-daily newspapers)

1st – Amber Helsel of the Jackson Free Press for “Food and culture in Mississippi”

Judge’s comment: Was pleasantly surprised by these stories. While I don’t typically enjoy food-type activities, the author draws one in by talking to the people behind the food and going from there. Well written with style that effectively had me feeling like I was in the food hall, observing some of what was going on.

2nd – Karen Craigo of the Marshfield Mail for “Hidden from view, June Moon Art Experience offers opportunity for creative expression”

Opinion (non-daily newspapers)

1st – Anthony Mariani of the Fort Worth Weekly for three columns

Judge’s comment: Your entries were clear, easy to read and powerful.

2nd – Donna Ladd of the Jackson Free Press for “Race, crime and dehumanization”

3rd – Rick Kron of The Leader for three columns

Politics (non-daily newspapers)

1st – Ashton Pittman, Donna Ladd and Amber Helsel of the Jackson Free Press for “Cindy Hyde-Smith: Segregation academies and hanging quips”

Judge’s comment: Entries were enterprising, in-depth and insightful.

2nd – Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia of Richmond Daily News for political coverage

3rd – Jack Flagler, Emma Freer and Christopher Neely of Community Impact Newspaper for “East side story”

Sports (non-daily newspapers)

1st – Dwain Hebda of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for “Holy roller: Campus minister competes in roller derby” in Arkansas Catholic

Judge’s comment: The writer has a rapport with the story’s subjects that shines through in the work. Very engaging, opening and creating interest in a story that could be bypassed by a reader in the hands of a less skilled writer.”

2nd – Wendy Miller of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette‘s Three Rivers Edition for “Raiderette”

3rd – Tammy Keith of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette‘s River Valley & Ozark Edition for “Mayflower running back named top offensive player”

Investigative reporting (non-daily newspapers)

1st – Danny Wicentowski of Riverfront Times for “#ThemToo”

Judge’s comment: This entry, cleverly titled “#ThemToo,” shows how enterprise and doggedness can contribute to the electoral ouster of a county prosecutor alleged to have, over many years, sexually harassed female employees. In a small rural county, it was easy for women to get redress. The reporter also found other attorneys and officials who bolstered the “bully” characterization of the prosecutor. It’s a classic example of how a newspaper’s duty is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Excellent work.

2nd – Matt Dulin of Community Impact Newspaper for “Amid lawsuits, Blue Ridge pledges to control odor”

3rd – Beth Marshall of Community Impact Newspaper for “Imperial market”

Design portfolio (print/online)

1st – Stan Denman of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge’s comment: Entry was well-designed with clean lines and best use of imagery/photos. Designer is well-versed in typesetting, as seen by their use of full justification that also maintains good tracking and kerning. Very few hyphens and widows/orphans. Visual hierarchy is keen and leads the reader through the articles efficiently and effectively. Designer’s ability to mask image backgrounds and composite is excellent. Designer also understands flowing text along organic lines to create more interest and readability. Spacing is clean and does not feel confined. Overall excellent.

2nd – Emma Devine of Arkansas Life magazine

3rd – Leanne Hunter of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Special section (print/online)

1st – Sarah DeClerk, Emily Partridge and the promotions team of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for Downtown Little Rock magazine

Judge’s comment: Clean design with good unity throughout. Nice title and subtitle design. Excellent use of color and unifying photos (color, saturation, curves, etc.) throughout the piece. Good layouts for a lot of information in a finite space.

2nd – Sarah DeClerk, Wendy Miller and the special sections team of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for Real Weddings in Arkansas

3rd – Sarah DeClerk and the special sections team of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette‘s Three Rivers Edition for the August edition of What Women Want

Photography portfolio (print/online)

1st – Mitchell Pe Masilun of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Judge’s comment: I feel like all of these photos captured a moment of extreme highs and lows of life emotions. Great use of light and framing was made. On first glance, I though the bubbles were snow, so that kind of drew me in. The choice of using framing to let the people be a part of the story about the bubble run and not the primary focus of the photograph makes sense. In the basketball photo, you can tell forethought went into the choice of close-up, wide-angle framing. The colors and lighting pop, and you can feel the energy the players are putting off. Overall, the first responders photo is the most compelling of the three images. It bring on a range of raw emotions – hope, fear, sadness, stress. Again, great framing. I loved the way each of these captured a scene that tells a story, and not just one aspect of the story.

2nd – Staton Breidenthal of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

3rd – Tommy Metthe of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Photo package/spread (print/online)

1st – Mitchell Pe Masilun of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Oaklawn opening day”

Judge’s comment: Really great set. Loved the feeling of excitement and anticipation all of the shots portrayed.

2nd – Mitchell Pe Masilun of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Arizona Bowl”

Photography (print/online)

1st – Mitchell Pe Masilun of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “Injury, accident on I-30”

Judge’s comment: The photographer did a great job catching the agony of the moment.

2nd – Yvette Jagneaux of the Ville Platte Gazette for a photograph of a T-ball player leaping to make a catch

3rd – Staton Breidenthal of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for “A hands-on experience”

News (radio/audio)

1st – Johnathan Reaves of KASU Public Radio for “Amid national school safety debates, Jonesboro marks anniversary of a middle school shooting”

Judge’s comment: Twenty years ago, school shootings were unheard of, even in Columbine, but not in Jonesboro, where two middle school students shot down five victims. As the tragedy is remembered now with a demonstration for stricter gun control, this report and four related ones explore how each ensuing shooting brings it all back to those still at the school and looks at the changes made since. Interesting and sensitive. Well done.

2nd – Ann Kenda with Arkansas Public Media for “Arkansas pork industry caught in the middle of trade trouble”

Sports (radio/audio)

1st – Brandon Tabor of KASU Public Radio for “Red Wolves mascot turns 10 years old”

Judge’s comment: Great storytelling and use of various voices to present the full process of a mascot change and fan reception to it. The transcription of the interviews in the link is a great service. The interviewer has a great rapport with the guests.

2nd – Ann Kenda of Arkansas Public Media for “Champion duck callers flock to Stuttgart”

3rd – Chuck Livingston, David Wallace, Barry Groomes, Chad Hooten and Chris Hooten of Hooten’s Arkansas Football for “Delta Pest Control football report”

Documentary/investigative reporting (radio/audio)

1st – Ibby Caputo of Scene on Radio, the podcast out of Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies, for “More than paper cuts”

Judge’s comment: none

Arts and culture (radio/audio)

1st – Jerome Weeks of KERA for “Artist Spotlights”

Judge’s comment: none

Documentary/investigative reporting (television/video)

1st – Caitlin Sinett with KY3 and KSPR for “Marion County, Arkansas, road funds used to pay off judge’s legal fees”

Judge’s comment: This is a great example of why local journalism matters.

News (student – print/online)

1st – Kimberely Blackburn with Delta Digital News Service for “Organizations seek to help area homeless”

Judge’s comments: The reporter did a nice job of personalizing the issue of homelessness while taking a look at the resources available.

2nd – Keith Turner of Delta Digital News Service for “Northeast Arkansas hepatitis A outbreak continues”

3rd – Kayce Wilson of Delta Digital News Service for “Business provides pharmaceuticals alternative”

Feature (student – print/online)

1st – Christine Miyawa of Delta Digital News Service for “Deltayou: Redemption in six strings”

Judge’s comment: From the lede, the journalist brought me into the story and lead me on Cameron Todd’s journey. Excellent work.

2nd – Miranda Reynolds of Delta Digital News Service for “Honey bees impact Arkansas”

3rd – Destini Lattimore of Delta Digital News Service for “El Dorado seeks destination status via music”

Sports (student – print/online)

1st – Marvin Davis of Delta Digital News Service for “SBC champs back on track”

Judge’s comment: I’m not usually interested in track as a sport. However, this author’s profiles, both of the team as a whole and the individual competitors, drew me in with some great interviews. Good job!

Photo package/spread (student)

1st – Tristan Arquitt of Delta Digital News Service for “Roots Music Festival entertains Jonesboro”

Judge’s comment: Great choice of photos and layout overall.

2nd – Tristan Arquitt of Delta Digital News Service for “A river of Bluegrass runs through Paragould”

3rd – Madison Gomez of Delta Digital News Service for “6th annual ride benefits Memorial Gardens”

Diamond Awards ceremony set for Oct. 25

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Finalists in the Diamond Journalism Awards have been announced here and on Facebook. Winners of the Community Service Award and Robert McCord Freedom of Information Award, as well as the Outstanding New Journalist and Diamond Journalist of the Year, will be announced at the 2018 SPJ Diamond Journalism Awards Ceremony.

Join us from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 in the private party room downstairs at the Flying Saucer in Little Rock, 323 President Clinton Ave.

Tickets can be purchased online via PayPal or at the door. The cost is $15 per person, including heavy hors d’oeuvres and libations.

Finalists selected for Diamond Journalism Awards

Judges have chosen the finalists for the 2018 Diamond Journalism Awards, a regional competition sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

The Diamond Journalist of the Year and Outstanding New Journalist, as well as the winners of the Community Service Award and Robert McCord Freedom of Information Award, will be announced at the awards banquet. Details about the event will be released at a later date.

Here is a list of finalists by category:

NEWS (daily newspapers)

Andy Davis, Lisa Hammersly and Doug Thompson, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Ryan Tarinelli and Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

POLITICS (daily newspapers)

Hunter Field, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press; Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

SPORTS (daily newspapers)

Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Brooks Kubena, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Tom Murphy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (daily newspapers)

Jonathan Bullington, Richard Webster, Brett Duke, Emma Scott and Haley Correll, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune; Amanda Claire Curcio and Ginny Monk, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Lisa Hammersly, Doug Thompson, Ginny Monk and Dave Hughes, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

FEATURE (daily newspapers)

Ted Jackson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune; Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Emma Pettit, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

COMMENTARY (daily newspapers)

John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press; Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

EDITORIALS (daily newspapers)

David Barham, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

NEWS (non-daily newspapers)

Benjamin Hardy, Arkansas Nonprofit News Network; Tammy Keith, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette River Valley and Ozark Edition; Jacob Rosenberg, Arkansas Times

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (non-daily newspapers)

Sarah Campbell-Miller, Arkansas Business

FEATURE (non-daily newspapers)

Linda Garner-Bunch, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Tammy Keith, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette River Valley and Ozark Edition; Sam Pierce, Tri-Lakes Edition, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

COMMENTARY (non-daily newspapers)

Karen Craigo, The Marshfield Mail; Tammy Keith, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette River Valley and Ozark Edition; Rick Kron, Leader Publishing

EDITORIALS (non-daily newspapers)

Rick Kron, Leader Newspapers

FEATURE (magazine)

Dwain Hebda, AY Magazine; Dwain Hebda, SOIREE Magazine; Erica Sweeney, CityLab/The Atlantic

SPORTS (magazine)

Sarah DeClerk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Dwain Hebda, Do South Magazine

PHOTOGRAPHY (all print)

Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Tommy Metthe, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

PHOTO PACKAGE/SPREAD (all print)

Mitchell Pe Masilun, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO (all print)

Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Mitchell Pe Masilun, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Tommy Metthe, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

LEISURE INTERESTS (all print)

Sean Clancy and John Sykes Jr., Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

NEWS (radio/podcast)

Bobby Ampezzan, Arkansas Public Media; Jacqueline Froelich, Arkansas Public Media; Karen Steward, KUAR Public Radio

DOCUMENTARY/INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (radio/podcast)

Bobby Ampezzan, Arkansas Public Media; Heidi Sohl, Red Wolf Radio; Karen Steward, KUAR Public Radio

FEATURE (radio/podcast)

Michael Hibblen, KUAR Public Radio; Ann Kenda, Arkansas Public Media; Karen Steward, KUAR Public Radio

NEWS (television)

Kevin Kelly and Matt Thibault, FOX16 News — KLRT; Rodolfo Portillo, Univision Arkansas; Mariana Rivero, Univision Arkansas

DOCUMENTARY/INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (television)

Caitlin Sinett, KY3

SPORTS (television)

Esdras Valdez, Univision Arkansas

FEATURE (television)

Alex Caprariello, KNWA/KFTA; Seth Cleveland, ASU-TV; Kevin Kelly and Matt Thibault, FOX16 News – KLRT

MULTIMEDIA (any platform)

Kimberely Blackburn, Tucker Crain, Miranda Reynolds, Katie Woodall and Christopher Lee, Delta Digital News Service; Emma Pettit, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Staff, The Associated Press

VIDEO (any platform)

Mitchell Pe Masilun, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

SLIDESHOW (any platform)

Brandon Riddle, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

SPECIALIZED SITE (any platform)

Gavin Lesnick, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Jeannie Roberts, Gavin Lesnick and Mitchell Pe Masilun, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Staff, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism

NEWS (student journalism)

Kimberely Blackburn, Delta Digital News Service; Ryan Bourgoin, The Forum – UA Little Rock; Christine Kemper, The Forum – UA Little Rock

SPORTS (student journalism)

Kolton Rutherford, The Forum – UA Little Rock

FEATURE (student journalism)

Kimberely Blackburn, Delta Digital News Service; Amber Quaid, Arkansas Tech University; Miranda Reynolds, Delta Digital News Service

OPINION (student journalism)

Amber Quaid, Arkansas Tech University

PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO (student journalism)

Amber Quaid, Arkansas Tech University

2018 Diamond Awards accepting entries

Attention professional and student journalists within 250 miles of Little Rock, it’s time to enter the Diamond Journalism Awards!

Sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, the Diamond Journalism Awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Eligible work must have been published or broadcast between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

Entries can be submitted starting April 20, 2018 and has been extended until 11 p.m. CDT, JULY 16, 2018.

 

Go here for rules and other information.

UPDATE: Diamond Journalism Awards, Nov. 14, LR’s Flying Saucer

Judges have chosen the finalists in the 2017 Diamond Journalism Awards, a regional competition sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

UPDATE: Awards will be presented at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the Flying Saucer in Little Rock. Tickets are $10 per person, including heavy hors d’oeuvres and libations. Purchase in advance at arkansasspj.org or at the door. Guest speaker to be announced.

Here is a list of finalists by category:

ONLINE

VIDEO

Kirstin Pieri May, Arkansas State University; Stephen Thornton, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

PHOTO SLIDESHOW

Jacob Kauffman, KUAR Public Radio; Jillian Kremer, Arkansas Online; Brandon Riddle, Arkansas Online.

MULTIMEDIA PROJECT

Jackson Carter, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Emma Pettit, Arkansas Online.

BLOGS

Syd Hayman, Only in Arkansas.

PRINT

EDITORIALS (All print)

Rick Kron, Jonathan Feldman, Garrick Feldman, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark.; Jonathan Feldman, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark.; David Barham, Paul Greenberg, Walter Hussman Jr., Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

COMMENTARY (Daily newspapers)

Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

COMMENTARY (Non-daily newspapers)

Rick Kron, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark.; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Garrick Feldman, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark.

HARD NEWS (Daily newspapers)

Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Noel Oman, Chris Bahn, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Andrew DeMillo, Kelly P. Kissel, Sean Murphy, Jill Bleed, Tafi Mukunyadzi, The Associated Press; Thomas Gounley, Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader.

 HARD NEWS (Non-daily newspapers)

Tammy Keith, Three Rivers Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

HARD NEWS (Magazines)

Wyndham Wyeth, Arkansas Life; Jordan Hickey, Arkansas Life.

FEATURE (Daily newspapers)

Hunter Field, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Ellis Widner, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

FEATURE (Non-daily newspapers)

Tammy Keith, Three Rivers Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Sarah DeClerk, River Valley & Ozark Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Sarah DeClerk, Health Beat/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

FEATURE (Magazines)

Mariam Makatsaria, Arkansas Life; Sarah DeClerk, Health Beat/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Jordan Hickey, Arkansas Life.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (All print)

Kara Harnett, Stone Selso, Olivia Moyers, Katelyn Mary Skaggs, Breanne Bleichroth, The Southeast Arrow; Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Lisa Hammersly, Brian Fanney, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

SPORTS (All print)

Jeremy Muck, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Johnny Carrol Sain, Arkansas Life; Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

POLITICS (All print)

Michael Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; John Moritz, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press.

PHOTOGRAPHY (Daily newspapers)

Mitchell Pe Masulin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Benjamin Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Jill Bleed, The Associated Press.

PHOTOGRAPHY (Non-daily newspapers)

David Scolli, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ark.

PHOTOGRAPHY (Magazines)

Arshia Khan, Arkansas Life Magazine.

PHOTO PACKAGE/SPREAD (All media)

Mitchell Pe Masulin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Arshia Khan, Arkansas Life.

PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO (All media)

Arshia Khan, Arkansas Life; Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Mitchell Pe Masulin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

LEISURE INTERESTS (Magazines)

Bonnie Bauman, Arkansas Life; Morgan Acuff, Little Rock Family; Wyndham Wyeth, Arkansas Life.

 TELEVISION

HARD NEWS

Jose Gómez, Rolando Ochoa, Univision Arkansas; Andrea Guzmán, Univision Arkansas; Mariana Rivero, Univision Arkansas.

FEATURE REPORTING

Rodolfo Portillo, Univision Arkansas; Karen Pérez, Univision Arkansas; Univision Arkansas.

SPORTS REPORTING

Aaron Nolan, KARK-TV.

RADIO/PODCASTS

HARD NEWS

Ann Kenda, Johnathan Reaves, Arkansas Public Media; Bobby Ampezzan, Arkansas Public Media; Jacqueline Froelich, Arkansas Public Media.

FEATURE REPORTING

Jacqueline Froelich, Arkansas Public Media; Chris Hickey, KUAR Public Radio.

DOCUMENTARY/INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

Jacob Kauffman, KUAR Public Radio; Karen Steward, KUAR Public Radio; Sarah Whites-Koditscheck, Arkansas Public Media.

SPORTS REPORTING

Jacob Kauffman, Chris Hickey, KUAR Public Radio.

SPECIAL AWARDS

ROBERT S. MCCORD FOI AWARD

Kelly P. Kissel, The Associated Press; Hunter Field, Amanda Claire Curcio, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Lisa Hammersly, Brian Fanney, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

 OUTSTANDING NEW JOURNALIST

Emma Pettit, Arkansas Online; Jacob Kauffman, KUAR Public Radio; Brandon Riddle, Arkansas Online.

DIAMOND JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press; Eric Besson, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Lisa Hammersly, Brian Fanney, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Staff, KUAR Public Radio and Arkansas Public Media; Frank Fellone, Lisa Hammersly, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

STUDENT JOURNALISM

NEWS

Emma Williams, The Herald, Arkansas State University; Kimberely Blackburn, Caitlin Jancyz, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University.

Kimberely Blackburn, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University.

FEATURE

Marie Mitchell, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University; Darcy Hagood, KUAR Public Radio, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Jiayue Liao, Deltat Digital News Service, Arkansas State University.

DEADLINE EXTENDED – JULY 21

Sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, the Diamond Journalism Awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Eligible work must have been published or broadcast between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

The entry deadline has been extended until 11 p.m. CDT, July 21.

Enter online via the Better BNC Media Awards platform, https://betternewspapercontest.com/

For entry rules, contest categories and fee options, go here.

Call for Entries: 2017 Diamond Journalism Awards

Attention professional and student journalists, it’s time to enter the Diamond Journalism Awards!

Sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, the Diamond Journalism Awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Eligible work must have been published or broadcast between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

Entries may be submitted starting May 31 and until 11 p.m. CDT, July 14.

Enter online via the Better BNC Media Awards platform, https://betternewspapercontest.com/

For entry rules, contest categories and fee options, go here.