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.

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.

Arkansas Pro Chapter wins SPJ Circle of Excellence Award

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The Arkansas Pro Chapter has been named a Circle of Excellence Award winner for a small chapter with fewer than 75 members in the area of diversity, the Society of Professional Journalists announced Monday.

Circle of Excellence Awards recognize chapters that perform outstanding work in the areas of campus relations, professional development, diversity, chapter communications and First Amendment/Freedom of Information Act.

In September 2016, our chapter was a partner in presenting a #BlackLivesMatter in the Media panel featuring local and regional activists such as Rae Nelson, Ashley Yates and Shaun King. This panel created a dialogue on #BlackLivesMatter news coverage and steps to better approach reporting on the movement.

In March 2017, during Women’s History Month, the chapter held a Women in the Media panel exploring the experiences of female Arkansan journalists who have print, radio and broadcast backgrounds. Panelists included Gwen Mortiz, Raven Richard, Jill Bleed and Ibby Captuo.

The Arkansas Pro Chapter also worked in partnership with the Islamic Center of Little Rock to hold a Journalism & Islam: Halal Food for Thought discussion, which featured an honest exchange of questions, ideas and thoughts on how Muslims are portrayed in the media.

Candidates for Circle of Excellence Awards are chosen based on their annual reports. Check out our 2016-2017 report of what we’ve accomplished here.

Large Circle of Excellence Awards are given to chapters with more than 75 members, and Small Circle of Excellence Award winners have fewer than 75 members. The Arkansas Pro Chapter is one of eight chapters to be awarded this year.

For more information on this year’s Circle of Excellence Awards, visit 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.