ETSPJ announces Golden Press Card Award winners for work done in 2014

Keynote speaker Jack Neely and Knoxville News Sentinel photographer Michael Patrick
Keynote speaker Jack Neely and Knoxville News Sentinel photographer Michael Patrick

“Struggling to Get By,” a multiday, multimedia series on poverty that ran last fall in the Knoxville News Sentinel, is winner of the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists’ Golden Press Card Award for work done in 2014.

ETSPJ presented the award Saturday night at its annual awards banquet to News Sentinel photographers Amy Smotherman Burgess and Michael Patrick and reporter Kristi L. Nelson. The award, which represents the “best in show” among all first-place winners, comes with a plaque and a cash prize.

The series also won an Award of Excellence, or first place, in the General Reporting category for newspapers. This year’s contest was judged by journalists in Pittsburgh, Pa., who called it “a strong package featuring good writing and memorable images,” and noted that along with profiling people in various situations – “job loss, injury, sickness and bad luck” – it covered what people do to get by and programs available to help them.

The journalists spent several months working on the series, which also placed second in the Series/Package/Project Reporting category.

“So many of us live a paycheck or two away from facing difficult circumstances,” Burgess said. “It was important to me to show that there are many people in our community who deal with this struggle on a daily basis.”

The Horace V. Wells Community Service Award for all media, named for the former Clinton newspaper publisher who prized watchdog journalism and community-building, went to Kevin Hardy of the Chattanooga Times Free Press for his series investigating irregularities surrounding Chattanooga State’s president.

“This series does one of the things journalists do best – serve as a watchdog over public institutions,” judges said. “Well documented and balanced, there is little doubt the series led to the president’s resignation. It’s a worthy winner of this award.”

The annual contest is open to print and broadcast media throughout the East Tennessee region. A complete list of winners is below.

1-A. Deadline/Breaking News Reporting, newspapers

  • Third Place: Chattanooga deaths, Shelly Bradbury, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Merit: “Justin Dale Bradley charged …”, Kendi Anderson, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: “December School Bus Crash,” staff, Knoxville News Sentinel

1-C. Deadline/Breaking News Reporting, television

  • Award of Merit: “Record-Breaking Bust,” James Mahon, WDAF-TV
  • Award of Excellence: “School Bus Crash,” staff, WATE-TV

2-A. General Reporting, newspapers

  • Honorable Mention: “Monroe County Sheriff’s Race,” Hugh G. Willett, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Third Place: “Shrinking Pay Gap,” Lydia X. McCoy, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Merit: “Chattanooga State President,” Kevin Hardy, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: “Struggling to Get By,” Amy Smotherman Burgess, Kristi L. Nelson and Michael Patrick, Knoxville News Sentinel

3-A. General Reporting, radio

  • Award of Excellence: “Political Realities Dilute Amelia’s Law,” Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT

3-B. General Reporting, television

  • Honorable Mention: “Falsifying Ridership,” Mike Donila and Steve Butera, WBIR-TV
  • Third Place: “Trap of Addiction,” Sarah Self and Lori Tucker, WATE-TV
  • Award of Merit: “East Tennessee Playground Problems,” Mike Donila and Jim Matheny, WBIR-TV
  • Award of Excellence: “Deadly School Bus Crash,” staff, WATE-TV
  1. Continuing Coverage, online
  • Honorable Mention: “Even Unto Death,” Kevin Hardy and David Cook, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Third Place: “Means Matter,” Joan Garrett McClane and Maura Friedman, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Merit: “Amendment One,” Mary Helen Miller and Maura Friedman, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: Howard Baker funeral coverage, staff, Knoxville News Sentinel

5-A. Feature Writing, large daily newspapers

  • Honorable Mention: “When Hope Needs Hope,” Joan Garrett McClane, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Third Place: “Getting Home to Hadley,” Kristi L. Nelson, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Merit: “Even Unto Death,” Kevin Hardy, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: “The Privilege and Burden of Franklin McCallie,” Joan Garrett McClane, Chattanooga Times Free Press

5-C. Feature Writing, nondaily newspapers

  • Award of Excellence: “The Music Man,” Carol Shane, The Shopper-News

6-A. Feature Reporting, radio

  • Award of Merit: “From Two Worlds: Tennessee Students and Inmates,” Leslie Snow, WUOT
  • Award of Excellence: “Campaign Signs Fight for Attention in Crowded Election,” Matt Shafer Powell, WUOT 

6-B. Feature Reporting, television

  • Honorable Mention: “Mental Health Court,” James Mahon, WDEF-TV
  • Third Place: “Santas Swamp Seymour,” Becca Habegger, WBIR-TV
  • Award of Merit: “70-Year-Old Letter Carrier Logs Over 2 Million Miles,” Becca Habegger, WBIR-TV
  • Award of Excellence: “Mt. LeConte,” Kristin Farley and Shawn Davis, WATE-TV

7-A. Investigative Reporting, newspapers

  • Award of Merit: “Chattanooga State President,” Kevin Hardy, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: “Costly Claims,” Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville News Sentinel 

8-B. Investigative Reporting, television

  • Honorable Mention: “Knox County Schools Investigation,” Mike Donila and Jim Matheny, WBIR-TV
  • Third Place: “Blighted Properties,” Jon Ewing, Stephanie Beecken, Shawn Davis and Steve CoyWATE-TV
  • Award of Merit: “Morristown Utility,” Alexis Zotos, Ryan Webb and Staff, WATE-TV
  • Award of Excellence: “East Tennessee Playground Problems,” Mike Donila and Jim Matheny, WBIR-TV

9-A. Series/Package/Project Reporting, newspapers

  • Honorable Mention: “ACA Update: Reforming Health Care,” Kristi L. Nelson, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Third Place: “Fragments of Hate,” Sam Venable, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Merit: “Struggling to Get By,” Amy Smotherman Burgess, Kristi L. Nelson and Michael Patrick, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Excellence: “Costly Claims,” Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville News Sentinel 

10-A. Documentary/Public Affairs, radio

  • Third Place: “Capitol Hill Update,” Chrissy Keuper and Tom Humphrey, WUOT
  • Award of Merit: “The Method with Brandon Hollingsworth,” Matt Shafer Powell, WUOT
  • Award of Excellence: “Dialogue,” staff, WUOT

10-B. Documentary/Public Affairs, television

  • Award of Excellence: “Knox County Teachers Roundtable,” Samantha Manning, Jay Quaintance, Dave Wignal and Tom McCoy, WATE-TV

 10-C. Documentary/Public Affairs, online only

  • Award of Excellence: “Knox Pallet House at Rhythm and Blooms,” Buck Kahler, KnoxZine

11-A. Sports Reporting, newspapers

  • Third Place: Taylor Phinney crash, Jim Tanner, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Merit: End of NCAA Run, Ben Frederickson, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Excellence: East Ridge Coach, Stephen Hargis, Chattanooga Times Free Press”

11-B. Sports Reporting, radio

  • Award of Excellence: “Vintage Baseball Brings Past to Present,” Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT

11-C. Sports Reporting, television

  • Third Place: Dave’s Diamond Darlings, Dave Staley, WTVC-TV
  • Award of Excellence: “Maryville State Championship Behind the Scenes,” Patrick Murray, WBIR-TV
  1. Editorial Writing, newspapers
  • Award of Merit: Scott Barker, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Excellence: Pam Sohn, Chattanooga Times Free Press

13-A. Personal Columns, large daily newspapers

  • Honorable Mention: Mark Harmon
  • Third Place: Personal columns, Greg Johnson, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Merit:  Mark Kennedy, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: David Cook, Chattanooga Times Free Press

13-C. Personal Columns, nondaily newspapers

  • Award of Merit: Sara Barrett, The Shopper News
  • Award of Excellence: Carol Shane, The Shopper News
  1. Reviews/criticism, newspapers
  • Award of Excellence: Movie reviews, Betsy Pickle, The Shopper News

16-B. Best Television Newscast

  • Award of Merit: 10 News, Andrew Weil and Megan Johnson, WBIR-TV
  • Award of Excellence: 6 News at 11, Linda Nguyen and staff, WATE-TV
  1. Headline writing, newspapers
  • Honorable Mention:  Casey Phillips, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Third Place: Sarah Frazier, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Merit: Lin Parker, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: Shawn Ryan, Chattanooga Times Free Press

18-A. Page Design, newspapers

  • Honorable Mention: Meg Scarbrough, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Third Place: Matt McClane, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Merit: Sara Jackson, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: Cindy Deifenderfer, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  1. Informational graphics, newspapers
  • Third Place: “Wiretaps,” Matt McClane, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Merit: “Going Broke,” Laura McNutt, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: “Capital Investments,” Matt McClane and Laura McNutt, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  1. Art Illustration, newspapers
  • Award of Merit: “Streaming Media,” Sara Jackson, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: “Empty Arms,” Matt McClane, Chattanooga Times Free Press

21-A. Deadline Photography, newspapers

  • Third Place: “World Cup Watchers,” Doug Strickland, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: “South Knox Car Crash,” Paul Efird, Knoxville News Sentinel

22-A. Feature Photography, newspapers

  • Honorable Mention: “The Cruelest Equation,” Doug Strickland, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Third Place: “Alcohol,” Maura Friedman, Chattanooga Times Free Press

22-D. Feature Photography, television

  • Award of Excellence: “Mt. LeConte,” Shawn Davis and Kristin Farley, WATE-TV

22-E. Feature Photography, online only

  • Award of Excellence: “Pridefest,” Buck Kahler, KnoxZine
  1. Editorial cartoons, newspapers
  • Award of Merit: Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Excellence: Charlie Daniel, Knoxville News Sentinel

24-A. Freelance Writing for Print

  • Honorable Mention: “Numbers Expert,” Amanda Womac
  • Third Place: “Chroma President Works Hard,” Bonny C. Millard
  • Award of Merit: “Significant Slumber,” Amanda Womac
  • Award of Excellence: “Depth of Field,” Betsy Pickle

25-A. Overall Internet Site

  • Honorable Mention: wate.com
  • Third Place: Amendment One, Mary Helen Miller and Maura Friedman, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Award of Merit: knoxnews.com
  • Award of Excellence: The Cruelest Equation, Kate Belz, Doug Strickland and Matt McClane, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  1. Online Use of Photo
  • Award of Merit:  Pridefest vignettes,Buck Kahler, KnoxZine
  • Award of Excellence: “The Cruelest Equation,” Doug Strickland, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  1. Online Use of Video
  • Honorable Mention: “Quidditch Boot Camp Video,” Buck Kahler, KnoxZine
  • Third Place: “Rescued Dachshunds,” Amy Smotherman Burgess, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Merit: “Getting Home to Hadley,” Adam Lau, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Excellence: “Fragments of Hate,” John Kunza IV, Knoxville News Sentinel
  1. Best Blog
  • Award of Merit: Atomic City Underground, Frank Munger, Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Award of Excellence: Screams from the Porch, Mike Donilla
  1. Horace V. Wells Community Service Award
  • “Chattanooga State President,” Kevin Hardy, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  1. Golden Press Card Award
  • “Struggling to Get By,” Amy Smotherman Burgess, Kristi L. Nelson and Michael Patrick, Knoxville News Sentinel

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