Dayton Daily News named best daily newspaper in Ohio — again

The Dayton Daily News was named the best daily newspaper in Ohio for the second consecutive year by the Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus Society of Professional Journalists chapters.

The Dayton Daily News beat out the other large circulation newspapers in the state for the Best of Show award for the 2020 statewide SPJ awards.

The SPJ announced awards for hundreds of categories Wednesday. The Cleveland chapter is hosting a Nov. 6 virtual celebration.

“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.”

Jim Bebbington, Dayton Daily News editor, said It’s an honor to receive this award and others from the SPJ.

“Our staff is very proud to serve our community through our journalism. We try hard every day to give our readers something of value and want our work to help make the Dayton region better,” Bebbington said.

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

Boyle designed the “Destruction” front page, below.

Zamarron is the designer of the front page “Oregon District Shooting: This is a Miami Valley tragedy.”

Best website, first place: Staff

“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.

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.

In all, there were 239 awards announced out of 472 entries submitted, the SPJ announced.

Sister papers the Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News in Butler County also earned top awards for their circulation class.

Springfield News-Sun

Best education issues reporting, first place: Riley Newton for “Worth their weight in gold” about the school resource officer program.

Best website, first place

Best photographer, second place, Bill Lackey


Best photographer, first place, Nick Graham

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