ATTENTION! DATE CHANGE: JUNE 18, 2021

2021 Diamond Journalism Awards Ceremony

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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

Dwain Hebda

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

Tammy Keith

Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock

Tyler Hale, Mark Carter, Evin Demirel, Rebecca Robertson

Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, Little Rock

Dwain Hebda

The Associated Press, Little Rock

Andrew DeMillo

AY Magazine, Little Rock

Dustin Jayroe, Rebecca Robertson, Jamison Mosley, Lora Puls, Heather Baker, Ebony Blevins, Jamison Mosley, Ian Lyle, Dwain Hebda

The Batesville Guard, Arkansas

Bruce Guthrie

Baxter Regional Pulse, Arkansas

Sarah Knight

Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City

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

Greg Geary

The Daily Record, Little Rock

Dwain Hebda

Do South Magazine

Dwain Hebda

FOX16 News, Little Rock

Kevin Kelly

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

Monica Quintero

KUAR-FM

Anna Stitt, Daniel Breen, Sarah Kellogg, Alexandria Brown

KWTX-TV, Waco

Rosemond Crown, Gordon Collier, Clint Webb, Megan Vanselow, Drake Lawson, Bill Gowdy

KXAN-TV, Austin, Texas

Alex Caprariello

Leader Newspaper, Jacksonville, Ark.

Rick Kron

Louisiana College, Pineville

Elizabeth Christian

Mississippi Free Press, Jackson

Ashton Pittman, William Pittman, Christian Middleton, Donna Ladd, Aliyah Veal, Mauricio J. Quijano

Politico, Arlington, Va.

Bret Schulte

Richmond News, Missouri

Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia

Riverfront Times, St. Louis

Danny Wicentowski

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

WVLT-TV, Knoxville

Ashley Bohle, Brittany Tarwater, Keith Smith, WVLT Staff

STUDENT MEDIA

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

Christine Miyawa, Tristan Bennett, Krishnan Collins, Chase Gage

University of Central Arkansas, The Echo, Conway

Ronak Patel, Lauren McLemore, Morgan Jenkins, Delaney Van Wilpe, Elvira Toddy, Megan Holder

2020 Diamond Awards Winners

Winners of the 2020 Diamond Journalism Awards were announced June 30 in a virtual presentation. Watch the video here.

This year’s competition was judged by members of the Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Here are links to the entries of the first-place winners.

Multimedia

2018-2019 Arkansas School Grades

Yutao Chen, Cynthia Howell

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Yutao Chen, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Specialized Website

Juvie: Lost Time

Amanda Claire Curcio, Gavin Lesnick

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Editorials – Daily Newspapers

Editorials by David Barham

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Editorials – Non-Daily Newspapers

Right to Recall

Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia

Richmond News, Richmond, MO

Second Place: Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, Richmond News

Editorials – Magazines

We Can’t Stand in Silence

Johnny Carrol Sain, Chris Zimmerman

ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR

Second Place: Johnny Carrol Sain, Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine

Third Place: Johnny Carrol Sain, Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine

Columns – Daily Newspapers

Columns by Rex Nelson

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Third Place: Kelly Brant, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Columns – Non-Daily Newspapers

Editor’s Note: Women and Politics in Mississippi

Donna Ladd

Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS

Second Place: Anthony Mariani, Fort Worth Weekly, Fort Worth, TX

Third Place: Rick Kron, Leader Newspaper, Jacksonville, AR

Columns – Magazines

A Nearby Faraway

Johnny Carrol Sain, Chris Zimmerman

ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR

Second Place: Dustin Jayroe, Arkansas Money & Politics Magazine, Little Rock

Third Place: Johnny Carrol Sain, Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine

News – Daily Newspapers

Flood Coverage

Democrat-Gazette Staff

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Clara Turnage, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Third Place: Lisa Hammersly, Eric Besson, Michael Wickline, Linda Satter

News – Non-Daily Newspapers

Immigration Raids, Mississippi Economy

Ashton Pittman

Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS

Second Place: Tammy Keith, ADG River Valley & Ozark Edition

Third Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Catholic

News – Magazines

Education

Dwain Hebda

YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for SAVVYKids Magazine

Second Place: Kinsey Crocker, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City

Third Place: Tyler Hale, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock

Feature – Daily Newspapers

ADG Pages From the Past

Celia Storey

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Bill Bowden, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Third Place: Sarah DeClerk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Feature – Non-Daily Newspapers

Escape From the Slaughterhouse

Danny Wicentowski

Riverfront Times, St. Louis, MO

Second Place: Rick Kron, Leader Newspaper, Jacksonville, AR

Third Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for The Daily Record

Feature – Magazines

Water and Fire

Bret Schulte

Wilson Quarterly, Washington, D.C.

Second Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for AY Magazine

Third Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for AY Magazine

Investigative Reporting – Daily Newspapers

Youth Mental Health

Lisa Hammersly, Ginny Monk

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Eric Besson, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Third Place: Amanda Claire Curcio, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Investigative Reporting – Non-Daily Newspapers

CAPC Director

Scott Loftis

Carroll County Newspapers, Eureka Springs, AR

Second Place: Ashton Pittman, Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS

Third Place: Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times, St. Louis, MO

Sports – Daily Newspapers

Morris Out

Tom Murphy

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Third Place: Trenton Daeschner, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Sports – Non-Daily Newspapers

Go Gray in May 5K

Tammy Keith

ADG River Valley & Ozark Edition

Second Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Catholic

Third Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Catholic

Sports – Magazines

Trey Biddy and Hawgsports

Mark Carter

Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock

Second Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Do South Magazine

Third Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for 501 Life Magazine

Politics – Daily Newspapers

Josh Mahony

Frank Lockwood, Hunter Field, John Moritz

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press, Little Rock

Third Place: John Moritz, Hunter Field, Michael Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Politics – Non-Daily Newspapers

Race and Gender in Mississippi Elections

Ashton Pittman

Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS

Politics – Magazines

Inside MAPS 4

Nathan Poppe

The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City

Second Place: Staff, The Curbside Chronicle

Third Place: Mark Carter, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock

Arts & Culture – Daily Newspapers

Three Chords

Philip Martin

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Eric Harrison, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Arts & Culture – Non-Daily Newspapers

More Love Than Hate

Aliyah Veal

Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS

Second Place: Tammy Keith, ADG River Valley & Ozark Edition

Arts & Culture – Magazines

Honky Tonk Man

Dwain Hebda

YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Do South Magazine

Second Place: Johnny Carrol Sain, Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR

Third Place: Nathan Poppe, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City

Health – Daily Newspapers

Youth Mental Health

Lisa Hammersly, Ginny Monk

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Cody Graves, ADG Healthbeat

Third Place: Sarah DeClerk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Health – Non-Daily Newspapers

Abortion Fight Obscuring Maternal Mortality

Ashton Pittman

Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS

Second Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for The Daily Record

Third Place: Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, Richmond News, Richmond, MO

Health – Magazines

Nurturing Change

Dustin Jayroe

AY (About You) Magazine, Little Rock

Second Place: Lisa Fischer, AY Magazine

Third Place: Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for SAVVYKids Magazine

STEM – Non-Daily Newspapers

Retired Conway Educators Reward Girls in Math

Tammy Keith

ADG River Valley & Ozark Edition

STEM – Magazines

Augmenting Her Reality

Tyler Hale

Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock

Design – Magazines

The Hero We Need, The Hero We Deserve, The Hero We Hunger For

Chris Zimmerman

ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR

Second Place: Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine

Third Place: Rebecca Robertson, AY Magazine, Little Rock

Photography

World Down Syndrome Day

Jenn Terrell

Babiekins Magazine

Second Place: Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Third Place: Tommy Metthe, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Photo Package/Spread

83rd Arkansas Derby

Tommy Metthe

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Nathan Poppe, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City

Third Place: Tommy Metthe, Staton Breidenthal, Bill Bowden, Dale Ellis, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Photo Portfolio

Tommy Metthe Portfolio

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Second Place: Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Third Place: Nathan Poppe, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City

Graphics/Illustrations

Housing, Homelessness

William Muschinske

The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City

Second Place: Joshua Boydstun, The Curbside Chronicle

Third Place: Jayna Hadwiger, The Curbside Chronicle

Documentary/Investigative Reporting – Television

Beyond Borders – A Trip Abroad

Monica Quintero, David Wagner, David Lowell

KPEJ/KMID/KLST, Odessa/Midland/San Angelo, TX

News – Radio

Protesters Flock to Arkansas Tech

Daniel Breen

KUAR-FM 89.1, Little Rock

Second Place: Daniel Breen, KUAR-FM 89.1

Third Place: Sarah Kellogg, KUAR-FM 891.

Feature – Radio

Livestock Showing Is Most Important

Kelly Connelly

KUAR-FM 89.1, Little Rock

Second Place: David Monteith, Michael Hibblen, KUAR-FM 89.1

Documentary/Investigative Reporting – Radio

They Liked My Phras’n

J. Bradley Minnick, Mary Ellen Kubit

KUAR-FM 89.1, Little Rock

Politics – Radio

Statues of Johnny Cash, Daisy Bates

Michael Hibblen

KUAR-FM 89.1, Little Rock

Second Place: Daniel Breen, KUAR-FM 89.1

Third Place: Michael Hibblen, KUAR-FM 89.1

Health – Radio

Doctor’s Advice on Medical Marijuana

Michael Hibblen

KUAR-FM 89.1, Little Rock

Special Section (All Print)

Football Preview

Jennifer Ellis

ADG Three Rivers Edition

Second Place: Wendy Miller, Sarah DeClerk, Staff, Downtown Little Rock

STUDENT JOURNALISM

News (Print/Online) – Student

Medical Marijuana Forces Law Enforcement Changes

Chase Gage

Delta News Service, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro

Second Place: Tristan Bennett, Delta Digital News Service

Third Place: Chloe Short, Brooke Buckner, Colby Sigears, Jessica Ladd, Yu Bai, Delta Digital News Service

Feature (Print/Online) – Student

A Place of Hope and Healing

Hannah Butler, Liz Chrisman, Chris Zimmerman

ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR

Second Place: Matthew Emery, Delta Digital News Service, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro

Third Place: Chase Gage, Delta Digital News Service

Sports (Print/Online) – Student

Meet the Unsung Heroes

Denton Postlewait

Delta News Service, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro

Second Place: Kenzie Sain, Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR

Third Place: Denton Postlewait, Delta Digital News Service

SPECIAL AWARDS

Community Service

ICE Raids in Mississippi

Ashton Pittman, Aliyah Veal, Donna Ladd

Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS

Second Place: Staff, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City

Third Place: Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Robert S. McCord FOI Award

Nursing Homes Investigation

Eric Besson

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Runner-up: Seyma Bayram, Donna Ladd, Nick Judin, Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS

Outstanding New Journalist of the Year

Nyssa Kruse

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Runner-up: Rachel Herzog, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Diamond Journalist of the Year

Cynthia Howell

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock

Runner-up: Monica Quintero, KPEJ/KMID, Odessa-Midland, TX

Arkansas SPJ wins small Chapter of the Year, student relations award

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At the Society of Professional Journalists opening business meeting during the Excellence in Journalism 2019 conference in San Antonio on Sept. 5, from left, are Arkansas SPJ board members Sarah DeClerk, vice president; Wendy Miller, treasurer; and Jennifer Ellis, president. Arkansas Pro won Small Chapter of the Year for the second year in a row, as well as a Circle of Excellence award 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.

To join this award-winning chapter, visit www.spj.org/join.

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.