One of the judges recognized Hulsey’s reporting, describing the entry as “deeply rooted on subjects that really matter during trying times.”
“I felt like the writer went beyond the headlines to explain what is happening and why it matters, plus what individuals might be able to do to right wrongs or get hired,” the judge wrote.
Best sports feature writer: Tom Archdeacon came in first place. The stories nominated include a homecoming queen turned python hunter; a boxer and family man shot five times; the Wilmington College baseball coach and his bond with his assistant with brittle bone disease; and former Anna High and Ohio State basketball standout Sarah Schulze, who became a Catholic nun.
A judge praised Archdeacon’s unique subject matter and how it was “brought to life by his easy writing style and inclusion of multiple voices.”
Best sports writer: Tom Archdeacon came in first place. The stories nominated include coverage of Miami University and NBA legend honored; a softball hall of famer dealing with devastating cancer diagnosis; a Miami University basketball player and his story of coming to America as an unsure teenager from Africa; and UD volleyball great dealing with pregnancy and motherhood.
The judges recognized Archdeacon’s sports stories with how he is “able to find a great story from any situation.”
Best news photo: Marshall Gorby came in first and second place with two entries that captured the story of a standoff and deadly police shooting on Hoover Avenue last year. When SWAT used tear gas to get the man out of the house, some of it came back toward the photographer and got in his throat and eyes.
Gorby’s photos were recognized by the judges.
“Covering ‘barricaded gunmen’ assignments is pretty common, but to get a photo of the perpetrator on the move with a gun in his hand is extremely rare,” a judge wrote about Gorby’s first photo entry.
Another judge wrote the second entry’s event took the same place as the first entry and describes it as “another amazing photo from a spot news situation.”
Best investigative reporting: Josh Sweigart and Chris Stewart came in first place. This series of articles looked into how Montgomery County distributed federal CARES Act funds to landlords led to policy changes, an ongoing federal investigation and some landlords paying the county back.
“In some cases, landlords pocketed tens of thousands of dollars and evicted the residents anyway,” a judge wrote. “The reporting resulted in greater scrutiny of federal CARES Act funding, and launched an FBI investigation that is still ongoing.”
They added the series “shows why we need local newspapers. Watchdog reporting of the highest order.”
Best digital presence: Dayton Daily News came in third place. This award looks at DaytonDailyNews.com, as well as our social media sites, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
A judge wrote about Dayton Daily News’s digital presence with “Dayton provides a range of coverage and well organized local content.”
Forty-eight different newspapers submitted 1,302 entries of featured news and sports articles, editorials, features, graphics, columns and photos from 2021.
“We are humbled and grateful to our peers and the judges for recognizing the work of our award-winners this year,” Dayton Daily News Editor Ashley Bethard said. “We are proud to deliver journalism of the highest quality to our readers and our communities.”