SPRINGFIELD – For the seventh year in a row, Sauk Valley Media has been honored for its work in promoting the public’s right to know.
In fact, the Telegraph and Daily Gazette won two awards – first and third – in that category of statewide competition sponsored by the Illinois Press Association. Those were among 18 honors the newspapers received Friday at the IPA’s annual awards luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The newspapers also won awards in broader categories of competition:
• Best Sports Section, first place
• General Excellence, second place
• Best Lifestyles Section, second place
• Best Editorial Page, third place
The two awards for Best Promotion of the Public’s Right to Know brought to 11 the number of honors the newspapers have won in that category during the past 7 years.
David Giuliani won first place for “Often, minutes remain closed,” an examination of governing bodies that neglect to review minutes from closed meetings. And Giuliani and Matt Mencarini received third place for “A lock on public access,” a report during National Newspaper Week in October.
Other first-place awards went to:
• David Giuliani, government beat reporting (coverage of townships and pensions)
• Tara Becker and Derek Barichello, news reporting/single story (Figuring it out, a preview of Rita Crundwell’s sentencing)
• Jim Dunn, local editorial (Don’t let swindler off easy – Crundwell pre-sentencing)
• Brian Weidman and Dan Woessner, sports news reporting (Drive for 5 complete)
• Matt Mencarini, investigative reporting (Spending in Ogle County sheriff’s department)
• Derek Barichello, school board coverage (Dixon teachers strike)
• Christopher Heimerman, sport feature (Natural Selection)
• Alex Paschal, personality portrait (Getting into his work)
• David Giuliani, Angel Sierra, web project (“I thought it was the end of us”)
• Phil Marruffo, sport photo (Big win)
• Alex Paschal, general news photo (Smile)
And the newspapers finished third for the Mabel S. Shaw Memorial Trophy, a sweepstakes award based on the number of awards and their placing.
The newspapers captured a total of 36 statewide awards over the past few days, having also received 18 honors on Thursday from the Illinois Associated Press Managing Editors.