The Dayton Daily News was named the best daily newspaper in Ohio by the Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus Society of Professional Journalists chapters.
The 2019 winners of the statewide SPJ awards in hundreds of categories were announced Wednesday and the Daily News beat out the other large-circulation papers in the state for the Best of Show award.
The paper and its staff also won:
Best columnist in Ohio, first place: Amelia Robinson
Best page one design, first place: Staff
Best political reporting, first place: Laura Bischoff
Best public service journalism, first place: The Path Forward
Best website, first place: Staff
Best sports profile, first place: Tom Archdeacon
“Readers are wiser for her efforts,” the SPJ judges said of Bischoff’s coverage of the FBI’s investigation into former Ohio House speaker Cliff Rosenberger dealings with payday lenders.
“Bischoff’s relentless coverage of the fall of House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger didn’t just cover a juicy scandal,” the judges said. “It also showed how the corruption may have prevented passage of an important bill. The eyewitness account of the FBI raid on his his house added drama, while the facts gleaned from public records showed meticulous reporting.”
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The judges called the paper’s Path Forward project, “the embodiment of public service journalism.”
The initiative was created to dig into the most pressing issues facing the Miami Valley and last year looked at the problems facing the Dayton Public Schools; how the region could shift its reputation as the overdose capital; and how to create a more robust local economy as we move into the future.
“From issues facing the local school system to the region’s ongoing opioid crisis, this newspaper has dedicated a significant amount of staff resources to writing deeply and assertively on issues that truly matter and impact the community at large,” the judges comments said.
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READ MORE: The Path Forward
Archdeacon’s winning piece was the story of Bibebibyo “Bibe” Seko, a Belmont soccer player whose family fled the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Robinson covers stories of Dayton’s people, culture and quirks, as well as diving into the hot-button issues of the day.
“Outstanding, clear, concise writing about vital issues,” the SPJ judges said.
WHIO-TV won numerous awards in the television division:
Best videographer, first place: Mike Burianek
Best criminal justice reporting, second place: Jim Otte and Byron Stirsman
Best feature reporting, first place: James Brown and Byron Stirsman
Best general assignment reporting, second place: Mike Burianek and Lauren Clark
Best government reporting, second place: Jim Otte and Byron Stirsman
Best investigative reporting, second place: Kate Bartley and Byron Stirsman
Best spot news: first and second place: Staff
The station’s coverage of a school shooting in Richmond, Indiana, and mix-up over an active-shooter incident at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base swept the spot news category.
“I thought this station covered the incident thoroughly and kept its audience up to date about the situation,” the judges said of the Richmond coverage.
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