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
The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was named National Outstanding Small Professional Chapter of the Year for the second consecutive year at SPJ’s opening business meeting at the Excellence in Journalism 2019 conference in San Antonio on Sept. 5.
The chapter was a finalist for the award after being named a Circle of Excellence Award winner for a small chapter with fewer than 75 members in the area of student relations.
Circle of Excellence Awards recognize chapters that perform outstanding work in the areas of student relations (formerly campus relations), professional development, diversity and Freedom of Information Act/First Amendment. The winners in these categories are finalists for Chapter of the Year.
“Not long after the Capital Gazette newsroom shootings, the Arkansas chapter explored what it was like to report in the face of tragedy. A former TV anchor recalled her colleagues having to go on the air to report the news of their friend’s homicide. Other participants also told compelling stories. The chapter sold T-shirts to raise $500 for a fund to help the Capital Gazette,” said SPJ national president J. Alex Tarquinio.
The chapter was praised for inviting the public to events focused on immigration coverage, police and the press and FOI.
“One of the most fun events was called “Get the Scoop … and Check the Facts,” a traveling ice cream social. With actual ice cream scoops to give away, the series visited several college campuses and covered topics such as cultivating sources,” Tarquinio said.
“During Sunshine Week, one of the chapter’s FOIA blitz events was a FOI trivia game over pizza and beer. The chapter is helping to pay the cost of printing a state FOI handbook and is active in a state FOIA network,” she added.
SPJ’s 12 regional directors selected Arkansas Pro for these awards based on recommendations by the Directors-at-Large.
Chapter president Jennifer Ellis, Zoned Editions Editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was sworn in as SPJ’s Region 12 Coordinator at the closing business meeting on Sept. 7.
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.