2018 Ohio SPJ Awards - General Assignment
When retired Congressman Ralph Regula died at age 92, WKSU reporters used their deep knowledge of Regula's relationship with the people in his district and issues facing Northeast Ohio. In fact, the long-serving politician from Stark County was known as "The Constituents' Congressman." This portrait is reinforced by WKSU-archived interviews with Regula and contemporary comments from community members.
Regula was an important figure who worked across the aisle when it mattered, including establishing Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He was greatly respected by politicians and voters, who sent him to Congress 18 times. WKSU's team reporting following his death relied on M.L. Schultze and Tim Rudell's extensive history covering Canton and Stark County (an area sometimes overlooked by Cleveland-driven media). Their reports, along with a quick-turnaround on-air conversation with Kabir Bhatia, turned the regional spotlight on the life of a Congressman who made a difference, bringing his story to listeners in WKSU's 22-county coverage area.