WKSU Recognized with 13 Ohio's Best Journalism Awards
WKSU reporters have won 13 awards in the Ohio’s Best Journalism contest, including four Best in Show honors. The competition recognizes excellence in work created in 2017 and is coordinated by the Central Ohio, Cincinnati, and Cleveland Professional Chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
Highlights of WKSU honors include Best Radio News Operation in Ohio, Best Radio Reporter in Ohio for M.L. Schultze, and Best Anchor for Amanda Rabinowitz, who has won the award three years running. Awards were presented on Saturday, Aug. 25 at a ceremony on a Belle of Cincinnati Riverboat Cruise in Cincinnati.
Since the addition of broadcast categories in 1998, WKSU has been recognized with more Ohio SPJ awards than any other radio news outlet. WKSU competes in the Ohio SPJ contest with radio stations and journalists from media markets throughout Ohio and stations broadcasting to Ohio from surrounding states.
WKSU radio category winners in the 2018 Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest are:
- Best of Show – Best News Operation in Ohio, WKSU Staff.
The judges say: “An excellent mix of stories from a newsroom of hard-working, creative reporters. I appreciated that they got out to tell the stories and found ways to do it in sound-rich ways. Well done!”
- Best of Show – Best Reporter in Ohio, Reporter/Producer M.L Schultze.
The judges say: “I was impressed with the quality of reporting from M.L. Schultze. The story of the GM factory is so important to our economy as a country. The angle was great and I thought the hook was something that'd keep me listening for the entire story. Job well done on all of these stories!”
- Best of Show – Best Anchor in Ohio, Host/Producer Amanda Rabinowitz.
The judges say: “WKSU anchor Amanda Rabinowitz does it all -- from bringing the local news to sports interviews to the weekly ‘Shuffle’ about music. She is a well-rounded journalist, and listeners are lucky to have an anchor with such versatility.”
- Best of Show – Best Newscast, Rabinowitz and Staff for Morning Edition.
The judges say: “An informative mix of stories that provides a well-rounded look at local happenings.”
- First Place – Best Consumer Reporting, Reporter/Producer Kabir Bhatia for “With Amazon Looming, What Is the Future of Retail in Akron?” The judges say: “The WKSU piece on the future of retail business in Akron does an exceptional job of looking at what is working for retail business. The judges especially liked the varied use of sound to help tell the story.”
- First Place – Best Continuing Coverage, WKSU Staff for coverage of the Opioid crisis in Ohio. The judges say: “Thorough, unafraid to touch on what some newsroom may consider a third-rail of race and drugs and leaves the listener with a better understanding of the scope and severity of the opioid epidemic in the community.”
- First Place – Best General Assignment Reporting, Schultze, Bhatia and Reporter/Producer Tim Rudell for coverage of the death of retired Congressman Ralph Regula. The judges say: “A clear and concise portrait of an Ohio Congressman. The use of archive audio coupled with remembrances of WKSU reporters, politicians and fellow Ohioans alike showed a depth of reporting and a solid understanding of the subject and his impact on the state.”
- First Place – Best Governmenet Reporting, WKSU Staff for the multi-part series “Gerrymandering, Shading the Lines.” The judges say: “I loved this series – it was informative, engaging and does what government reporting should do: hold those in power accountable. Gerrymandering is a nebulous topic, particularly for the casual citizen, and this series does a fantastic job illustrating what gerrymandering is and how it impacts citizens.”
- First Place – Best Health Care Feature Reporting, Reporter/Producer Jeff St. Clair for “First Year Cleveland Targets the Racial Disparities Behind Infant Mortality.” The judges say: “This is a great story – the quote stating that babies shouldn't be dying because of race sums up the importance of the story. Mr. St. Clair did a wonderful job of fleshing out why people should care about this issue.”
- First Place – Best Sports Reporting, Rabinowitz and Commentator Terry Pluto for the ongoing series “The View from Pluto.” The judges say: “What the judges liked about Pluto's three entries was the diversity of subjects and Pluto's take on the issues, which was insightful and knowledgeable.”
- Second Place – Best Documentary, Schultze for “An Akron Refugee Story: From Surviving to Thriving.”
- Second Place – Best Medical/Health Reporting, St. Clair for “The Ancient Science of Ayurveda Inspires Arthritis Research at NEOMED.”
- Second Place – Best Website, WKSU Staff for WKSU.org.