Springfield News-Sun wins two first-place journalism awards

The Springfield News-Sun earned top honors in two categories from the Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus Society of Professional Journalists chapters.

The SPJ on Wednesday announced the winners of 239 awards out of 472 entries submitted for work in 2019. The Cleveland chapter is hosting a Nov. 6 virtual celebration.

Staff writer Riley Newton won a first-place award for best education issues reporting for “Worth their weight in gold,” which judges called a “good comprehensive look at the school resource officer program.”

The Springfield News-Sun website also brought top honors.

“The website is built like a story should be written; the most important information is at the top; Breaking news, sections to seek more information, a call to action to subscribe, and then the latest news. It’s not flashy, it’s not distracting, and it’s easy to navigate,” judges wrote.

Photographer Bill Lackey won a second-place award for best photographer.

The first-place award for best photographer went to Nick Graham of the Springfield News-Sun’s sister paper, the Journal-News in Butler County.

Another sister paper, the Dayton Daily News, was named the best daily newspaper in Ohio for the second consecutive year. The newspaper beat out the other large circulation newspapers in the state for the Best of Show award for the 2020 statewide SPJ awards.

“Mass shootings and natural disasters are among the most difficult, exhausting events a journalist will ever have to cover, and the staff of the Dayton Daily News has repeatedly set a high bar with comprehensive coverage that informs and reflects the community it serves,” judges wrote. “These pages are beautifully illustrated and filled with graceful accounts of suffering and resilience. This paper’s reporters, editors and photographers should be proud.”

A second Best of Show award went to Amelia Robinson for best columnist in Ohio, first place.

Robinson is the paper’s community impact editor who oversees Ideas and Voices. It is the second year in a row for her to win the top honor.

Judges said “Robinson does an excellent job of drawing on her personal experiences to help readers make sense of the senseless, and inspire hope and a desire to push for change.”

The Dayton Daily News website and page one design also took home top honors again this year. The paper and its staff also won:

Best deadline reporting, first place: staff, for the Aug. 4, 2019, mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District.

“Great work by all,” judges wrote in the paper’s coverage.

Best page one design, first place: Adrian Zamarron, Sharyn Boyle

Best website, first place: Staff

Best social issues reporting: second place: Josh Sweigart, Chris Stewart for the Walking the Path of the Storm series.

Best government reporting: second place: Laura Bischoff for her House Bill 6 energy bill series.

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