Winners of the 2021 Diamond Journalism Awards will be announced in an online ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. June 18. Watch this space and social media for more details as the day gets closer.
Sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, the Diamond Journalism Awards is a regional competition that recognizes outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering states.
Winners in more than 75 categories as well as the Diamond Journalist of the Year, the Outstanding New Journalist, and the Robert S. McCord FOI Award will be announced at the upcoming a virtual awards ceremony. Winners of the Public Service Award, Journalist of the Year, Outstanding New Journalist, and the Robert S. McCord FOI Award receive an acrylic diamond-shaped paperweight.
This year’s contest honors work published or broadcast in 2020, drew a record 393 entries and was judged by members of the Cincinnati Pro Chapter of SPJ.
Here are the finalists listed by the publication or other outlet where their entries appeared:
ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, Ark.
Johnny Carrol Sain, Hannah Butler, Kenzie Sain
Arkansas Catholic, Little Rock
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock
Stephen Simpson, Williams Sanders, Jeannie Roberts, Joseph Flaherty, Thomas Metthe, Stephen Swofford, Staton Breidenthal, Yutao Chen, Maggie McNeary, Carrie Hill, Justin Cunningham, Stan Denman, Brian Smith, Joe Luciano, Tony Holt, Ginny Monk, Kat Stromquist, Bill Bowden, Terry Austin, David Barham, Walter Hussman, Philip Martin, Morgan Acuff, Sarah DeClerk, Dwain Hebda, Democrat-Gazette staff
ADG River Valley and Ozark Edition, Little Rock
Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock
Tyler Hale, Mark Carter, Evin Demirel, Rebecca Robertson
Mollie Bryant, Nathan Poppe, Miguel Rios, George Lang, Nazarene Harris, Jacquelyn Walsh, Sydni Nasada, Ryan Magnani, Joshua Boydston, Jayna Hadwiger, Ben Felder, Kassie McClung, Nate Ward, Katrina Ward
The Daily Citizen, Searcy, AR
The Daily Record, Little Rock
Do South Magazine
FOX16 News, Little Rock
Houston Business Journal, Texas
Jeff Jeffrey, Chris Mathews, Margaret Barrientos, Sara Samora, Laura Gillespie, Shafaq Patel, Giselle Greenwood
Jackson Free Press, Mississippi
Nick Judin, Kayode Crown, Donna Ladd
KATC-TV, Lafayette, La.
Andrew Clay, Staff
KOLR-TV, Springfield, Mo.
Brian Calfano, Lissa Hamblen
KPEJ-TV, Midland-Odessa, Texas
Anna Stitt, Daniel Breen, Sarah Kellogg, Alexandria Brown
Rosemond Crown, Gordon Collier, Clint Webb, Megan Vanselow, Drake Lawson, Bill Gowdy
KXAN-TV, Austin, Texas
Leader Newspaper, Jacksonville, Ark.
Louisiana College, Pineville
Mississippi Free Press, Jackson
Ashton Pittman, William Pittman, Christian Middleton, Donna Ladd, Aliyah Veal, Mauricio J. Quijano
Politico, Arlington, Va.
Richmond News, Missouri
Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia
Riverfront Times, St. Louis
Texas Observer, Austin
Amal Ahmed, Chris O’Connell, Savannah Maher
The Trucker, Little Rock
Wendy Miller, Linda Garner-Bunch, Lyndon Finney, Sam Pierce, The Trucker Editorial Staff
Ashley Bohle, Brittany Tarwater, Keith Smith, WVLT Staff
Louisiana State University (Reveille, LSU Tiger TV, LSU Manship News Service, KLSU-FM) Baton Rouge
Katherine Manuel, Anna Jones, Bailey Williams, Alyssa Berry, Matthew Clark, Sydney McGovern, Karli Carpenter, Kendall Duncan, Ally Kadlubar, Caleb Greene, Bailey Chauvin, Reed Darcey, Jared Brodtmann, Luke Chevalier, Marie Plunkett, Evan Leonhard, Cecile Girard, Sofia McKentry
Louisiana College, Wildcats Media, Pineville
Alena Noakes, Joel Thompson, Aaron Quartemont
Arkansas State University, Delta Digital News Service, Jonesboro
Learn about those who have provided fact-checking of presidential debates and other news events during the Just the Facts webinar, hosted by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The panel will provide information about the ins and outs of fact-checking, as well as its importance to audiences.
Speaker: Debra Utacia Krol of the Arizona Republic Debra Utacia Krol, an Indigenous affairs reporter at the Arizona Republic, was part of a team of experts that fact-checked a Trump-Biden presidential debate on behalf of USA TODAY. She is an award-winning journalist who specializes in Indigenous, environmental and science topics.
Put your skills to the test with pub-style trivia about sports reporting, hosted by the Arkansas Society of Professional Journalists. Bring your favorite beverage beverage and your game face to the virtual event, in which randomly selected teams will compete to see who has the most knowledge of sports journalism facts, fumbles and legends. What a fun and informative way to kick off the fall season!
Judges have chosen the finalists for the 2020 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 states.
Winners of the Diamond Journalist of the Year, the Outstanding New Journalist , and the Robert McCord FOI Award will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on June 30. More details coming soon.
Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Gavin Lesnick and Amanda Claire Curcio
Editorials (daily newspapers)
David Barham, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Editorials (non-daily newspapers)
Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, Richmond (MO) News
Johnny Carrol Sain and Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR
Columns (daily newspapers)
Kelly Brant, Rex Nelson, John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Columns (non-daily newspapers)
Anthony Mariani, Fort Worth (TX) Weekly, Rick Kron, The Leader, Jacksonville, AR; Donna Ladd, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Johnny Carrol Sain and Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR; Dustin Jayroe, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock
News (daily newspapers)
Linda Satter, Clara Turnage, Hammersly, Eric Besson, Michael R. Wickline, Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
News (non-daily newspapers)
Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Catholic; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Ashton Pittman, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for SAVVYKids Magazine, Little Rock; Kimsey Crocker, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City; Tyler Hale, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock
Feature (daily newspapers)
Bill Bowden, Sarah DeClerk, Celia Storey, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Feature (non-daily newspapers)
Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for The Daily Record, Little Rock; Rick Kron, The Leader, Jacksonville, AR; Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times, St. Louis
Bret Schulte, Wilson Quarterly, Washington, D.C.; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for AY Magazine, Little Rock
Investigative Reporting (daily newspapers)
Amanda Claire Curcio, Eric Besson, Lisa Hammersly, Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Investigative Reporting (non-daily newspapers)
Scott Loftis, Carroll County Newspapers, Berryville, AR; Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times, St. Louis; Ashton Pittman, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Sports (daily newspapers)
Trenton Daeschner, Bob Holt, Tom Murphy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Sports (non-daily newspapers)
Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Catholic, Little Rock; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Mark Carter, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Do South Magazine, Fort Smith, AR; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for 501 Life Magazine, Conway, AR
Politics (daily newspapers)
Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press; Frank Lockwood, Hunter Field, John Moritz, Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Politics (non-daily newspapers)
Ashton Pittman, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Mark Carter, Arkansas Money & Politics; Staff, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City; Nathan Poppe, The Curbside Chronicle
Arts & Culture (daily lnewspapers)
Eric Harrison, Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arts & Culture (non-daily newspapers)
Aliyah Veal, Jackson (MS) Free Press; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arts & Culture (magazines)
Nathan Poppe, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City; Johnny Carrol Sain, Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Do South Magazine, Fort Smith, AR
Health (daily newspapers)
Sarah DeClerk, Cody Graves, Lisa Hammersly, Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Health (non-daily newspapers)
Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, Richmond (MO) News; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for The Daily Record, Little Rock; Ashton Pittman, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Dustin Jayroe, Lisa Fischer, AY Magazine, Little Rock; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for SAVVYKids Magazine, Little Rock
STEM (non-daily newspapers)
Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Tyler Hale, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock
Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR; Rebecca Robertson, AY Magazine, Little Rock
Attention professional and student journalists in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas:
The 2020 Diamond Journalism Awards entry period is underway.
Sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Diamond Journalism Awards is open to any professional or student journalist, including freelancers, working in Arkansas and bordering states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee).
Eligible work must have been published or broadcast between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
A Sports Reporting Workshop For Rookies
5:30 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 21
North Little Rock High School
201 W. 22nd St., North Little Rock
Don’t just sit in the bleachers! Tackle the world of sports reporting with the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. Come out to North Little Rock High School for an opportunity to tour the student TV station and the Charging Wildcat Football Stadium pressbox. Following the tour, professional , award-winning journalists will participate in a panel discussion about all things sports reporting. With topics ranging from Freedom of Information regarding high school and college athletics, to diversity in the field, this is a great opportunity to hear the Xs and Os from the pros. Oh yeah, and there will be pizza!
RSVP via Facebook or email Wendy Miller at email@example.com by Tuesday, Aug. 20.
Make a donation toward the printing of the 2020 Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook and enter for a chance to win an All-Arkansas Preps football autographed by LA Charger and former Razorback Hunter Henry!
Panelists: Bruce Guthrie, Searcy Daily Citizen; Dorian Craft, THV 11; and Jeremy Muck, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Moderated by Nate Olson, HitThatLine.com.
Arkansas Pro Chapter
Society of Professional Journalists
For immediate release:
The Society of Professional Journalists Arkansas Pro Chapter is proud to present its new Mentor Match program, which aims to match less experienced media professionals and students with their senior counterparts.
Mentees would ideally be college students, interns, young reporters or journalists who would like some guidance. Mentors will likely have several years of experience, be editors or managers, or have an interest in giving back to the news community.
A mentee can also be a mentor – those with more experience are encouraged to give back.
Arkansas SPJ will host regular meetups to help foster the relationships between mentor/mentee pairs, starting with a kickoff event at 6 p.m. Monday, July 29, at Fassler Hall, 311 E. Capitol Ave. in Little Rock. RSVP for that event here: facebook.com/events/440198723241523/
Mentor Match aims to provide mentees with mentors in the Arkansas news industry. Mentee status is exclusive to chapter members, so join now at spj.org/join. Find your mentor (or mentee) through our application at tinyurl.com/spjmentormatch.
About Arkansas SPJ
The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists meets monthly for programs and networking in central Arkansas. Membership is available to all professional journalists in good standing with the national Society of Professional Journalists. Learn more about Arkansas SPJ at arkansasspj.org or follow us on social media.
The chapter was recognized nationally in 2018 as a Circle of Excellence Award winner for professional development and received the Outstanding Professional Chapter recognition for a small chapter.
connect with audiences • find content • build communities
Facebook and SPJ are committed to creating opportunities for journalists everywhere to learn about the ways Facebook tools can help create and share incredible works of journalism, as well as engage the public in the stories about their communities.
Arkansas SPJ is hosting a FREE training at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan 25 at the Darragh Center, 100 S. Rock St.
• How Journalists Can Best Utilize Facebook and Instagram
• Connect With Your Audience Using Facebook Live
• Immersive Storytelling With 360 Video and Photos
• Facebook Safety for Journalists
• Get Started with CrowdTangle
• Content Discovery and Social Monitoring with CrowdTangle
• Use Facebook Groups to Engage Your Audience
To register for this free training email firstname.lastname@example.org or text (501) 533-0565
SPACE IS LIMITED • SIGN UP TODAY
Our trainer is Lynn Walsh, an Emmy award-winning freelance journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism at the national level as well as locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. Based in San Diego, she is a past national president of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Project Manager at the Trusting News project, where she’s helping to rebuild trust between newsrooms and the public.
GET SOCIAL find her on the following