WKSU was honored by the Press Club of Cleveland with nine Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards at a ceremony on June 1 at the House of Blues in downtown Cleveland. The station won five first-place and the best-in-show award for Best Newscast, which WKSU staff has received in four of the past five years. Award entries were judged by a panel of journalism professionals from press clubs and news publications across the country.
WKSU winners of 2018 Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Press Club of Cleveland are:
- Best in Show – Radio Newscast, Major Market, Host/Producer Amanda Rabinowitz for WKSU’s broadcasts of NPR’s Morning Edition.
Rabinowitz works with a student assistant producer to create newscasts reflecting breaking and developing news affecting regional communities.
- First Place – News Writing, Reporter/Producer M.L. Schultze for “An Akron Mother and Her Sons Plan for the Once Unimaginable: Separation and Deportation.”
Schultze reported on a woman who, because of an unintentional mistake, faced being deported and leaving her sons, one of whom has Down’s syndrome, behind.
- First Place – Public Service, News Staff for “Gerrymandering: Shading the Lines.”
A five-part series examining the process of defining Congressional Districts in Ohio. Judges said: Fascinating piece – excellent reporting.
- First Place – Human Interest, Reporter/Producer Amanda Rabinowitz for “Shuffle: Sofar Sounds Marks Three Years of Secret, Intimate Concerts in Cleveland.”
A segment in Rabinowitz’s music-centered weekly segment, which debuted in 2017. Judges said: Good writing, good use of sound.
- First Place – Use of Sound, Reporter/Producer Kabir Bhatia for “The Dragon Invasion of Turkeyfoot Lake Could Net About $20,000 For Breast Cancer Awareness.”
Judges said: Excellent use of sound here. Nearly every part of this story is emphasized by an underlying sound - it puts the listener on the shores of Turkeyfoot Lake. Sound makes a good story rich and sumptuous.
- First Place – Radio News, Schultze for “With 1,200 Losing Their Jobs, Lordstown Hopes the Cycle Turns and Plans for a New Economy.”
Judges said: An interesting, well-researched look at an unexpected downside to lower gas prices. Good interviews, solid writing, captures the uncertainty of the population.
- Second Place – Radio News Website, Director for IT and Engineering Chuck Poulton for “WKSU.org.”
- Second Place – On-going Coverage, Schultze, Bhatia, Mark Arehart and Tim Rudell for “The Revitalization of the City of Akron”
- Second Place – Documentary, Schultze for “An Akron Refugee Story: From Surviving to Thriving.”
The Ohio Excellence in Journalism contest is a statewide competition for the best in print, broadcast and digital journalism. More than 750 entries were submitted for consideration.