Dayton Daily News wins 14 state journalism awards

Dayton Daily News reporters, artists and editors won more than a dozen state-level awards in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest, including multiple “best of show” awards.

The Dayton Daily News received six first-place awards and eight second-place awards. The Dayton Daily News’ sister paper, the Journal-News, received two first-place awards and one second place award.

In the high-level “best of show” section, Daily News investigative reporter Josh Sweigart won SPJ’s Emil Dansker Award as the best reporter in Ohio. Sweigart produced multiple investigations tracking use of taxpayer dollars, including key stories revealing problems with COVID rental assistance funding.

The Daily News sports staff, led by editor John Boyle, swept the “best special section” category, claiming first place for the Buckeyes Extra section and second place for the Flyer Connection sections. Regular DDN sports freelance reporter Jeff Gilbert was named the best freelance writer in the state contest.

In more specialized categories, Dayton Daily News reporter Lynn Hulsey won first place for business/consumer reporting, and Kaitlin Schroeder won first place for science/medical/health care reporting.

Judges praised Hulsey’s “consistent writing style” and “relatable photography and solid infographics.” Schroeder’s article “Ohioans urged to get mental health care during pandemic” was singled out by judges as “comprehensive, helpful, pointed.”

The following Dayton Daily News staff members and freelancers won awards:

  • Dayton Daily News staff: best of show - best special section: first place for Buckeyes Extra
  • Dayton Daily News staff: best of show - best special section: second place for Flyer Connection
  • Dayton Daily News staff: best deadline reporting: second place for Active shooter at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
  • Sharyn Boyle: best of show - best Page 1 design in Ohio: second place
  • Jeff Gilbert: best of show - best freelance writer: first place
  • Jeff Gilbert: freelance - best feature writing: second place for Vandalia athlete’s special senior night
  • Josh Sweigart: best of show - Emil Dansker Award- best reporter in Ohio: first place
  • Josh Sweigart: best government/political reporting: second place for payroll project
  • Josh Sweigart: best investigative reporting: second place for payroll project
  • Lynn Hulsey: best business/consumer reporting: first place
  • Kaitlin Schroeder: best science/medical/health care reporting: first place for Ohioans urged to get mental health care during pandemic
  • Ismail Turay Jr.: best explanatory journalism: second place for Path Forward: water safety and sustainability
  • Jeremy Kelley and Jordan Laird: best minority issues reporting: second place for Path Forward: race & equity
  • Pujan Roka: freelance - best criticism/editorial: first place for editorial cartoons.

The Dayton Daily News awards in the Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest came in the large circulation print category (60,000 or greater).

The Journal-News in Butler County had three winners in the small circulation print category (fewer than 60,000):

  • Denise Callahan: best deadline reporting: first place
  • Nick Graham: best of show - best photographer in Ohio: second place
  • Michael Pitman: best explanatory journalism: first place for Fairfield firefighter shortage.

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