2021 Golden Press Card: Newspaper (Metro) 

2021 GOLDEN PRESS CARD: Television | Newspapers (Metro) | Newspapers (Non-Metro) | Radio | Digital | All Media | Golden Press Card

Here are the winners in the Newspaper (Metro) categories. The entries were judged by the Greater Cincinnati SPJ Professional Chapter.

DEADLINE/BREAKING NEWS REPORTING – Newspaper (Metro)

First Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: Capitol Insurrection: ‘Shots fired’
Entry Credit: Tyler Whetstone
Links: See entry
Judge Comments: Local news is the lifeblood of the local newspaper. The Knoxville News Sentinel shows a relationship with U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, so when the Capitol incursion occurred, the reporter received the news as it happened from a local congressman. You can’t beat a source who is directly involved. Reporting that Burchett was the last to leave the floor is a great factoid. Nice job.

FEATURE REPORTING Newspaper (Metro)

First Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: Danny Mayfield Forever Changed Knoxville Politics. Many Wonder What Could Have Been.
Entry Credit: Angela Dennis
Links: See entry
Judge Comments: This story has everything a good feature should have: a compelling subject; evidence of in-depth research; quotes from an array of interviewed sources who lent credibility, emotion and poignancy to the central theme; and beautiful journalistic writing from beginning to end. This reporter could teach a master class in local feature writing. This was excellent!

Second Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: Remembering Ryan Knauss, Who Loved His Country and the Afghan People)
Entry Credit: Angela Dennis
Links: See entry
Judge Comments: What a powerful read this was! The reporter crafted a compelling narrative and dug deep into Ryan’s past to show us the many dimensions of who he was and the impact he had on others during his heartbreakingly short life. Excellent story. This reporter snagged the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in this category for good reason: she is a a gifted storyteller. Thank you for the good reads!

GENERAL REPORTING Newspaper (Metro)

First Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: Knoxville Police Commanders Covered Up Cop’s Racist Behavior
Entry Credit: Tyler Whetstone
Links: See entry
Judge Comments: This was a category with strong entries across the board. The Knoxville News Sentinel takes the top spot with its reporting on racism in the Knoxville Police Department. Knox News provided interviews with multiple sources detailing some of the conversations and eventual resignations. The second-place story included just about everything you needed to know about cicadas, with excellent facts and quotes from a variety of experts.

Second Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: Cicadas Are Back — Are You Ready?
Entry Credit: Vincent Gabrielle
Links: See entry

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS REPORTING Newspaper (Metro)

First Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: Knoxville Considers, Quashes Open Container Proposal
Entry Credit: Ryan Wilusz
Links: See entry, See entry, See entry
Judge Comments: Reporter Ryan Wilusz provides a great look at the debate on allowing open containers—walking around with beer—on Market Square in Knoxville. He covers many of the angles well, allowing for both sides to discuss their thoughts and positions on the idea. The comparisons with Mobile, Alabama, and Decatur, Georgia, also were well done. It’s a story that very well could be revived in the future.

PANDEMIC REPORTING Newspaper (Metro)

First Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: COVID Cases Undercounts, Lack of Access to Vaccines and the Personal Toll
Entry Credit: Vincent Gabrielle, Isabel Lohman
Links: See entry, See entry, See entry
Judge Comments: A great mix of human interest, statistics and history propels these pandemic stories to No. 1 in the category. No matter what a reader thinks about the pandemic, the primary story provides something of interest to almost anyone, and the health-care story points out some of the obstacles that health-care workers—and citizens—face in access and perceptions about vaccines.

Second Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: How COVID-19 Changed Commerce, Maybe Forever
Entry Credit: Ryan Wilusz
Links: See entry, See entry, See entry

PERSONAL COLUMNS/REVIEW/CRITICISM Newspaper (Metro)

First Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: Tennessee Football Under New Leadership
Entry Credit: Blake Toppmeyer
Links: See entry, See entry, See entry
Judge Comments: Whether you are an armchair quarterback, or football aficionado, this columnist manages to grip you with solid storytelling that is informative and entertaining.

Second Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: Sam Venable Tackles Life in East Tennessee
Entry Credit: Sam Venable
Links: See entry, See entry, See entry
Judge Comments: So well-written and chock full of details. You read these and can’t wait to tell people about what you just read. Engrossing and entertaining as well as informative.

SERIES/PACKAGE/PROJECT WRITING Newspaper (Metro)

First Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: DA Releases Police Cam Video Under Pressure From Media, Families
Entry Credit: Tyler Whetstone, Monica Kast, Isabel Lohman
Links: See entry, See entry, See entry
Judge Comments: This is a textbook example of how you cover a tragedy in your community. This is watchdog journalism at its best. Holding those who serve the public accountable.

Second Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: Profiles of the Teenagers Lost to Gun Violence in Knoxville
Entry Credit: Angela Dennis, Ryan Wilusz
Links: See entry, See entry, See entry
Judge Comments: The detailed coverage of the victims, putting more than just a bio on who was killed, was moving and informative.

SPORTS REPORTING Newspaper (Metro)

First Place
Contestant Name: News Sentinel
Entry Title: The Night Lane Kiffin Left Knoxville Lives in Infamy
Entry Credit: Adam Sparks
Links: See entry
Judge Comments: What a crazy story! So many moving parts that it would be easy to go down a rabbit hole of confusion. However, the way the story was written – in small sections – made sense. The reader really captured the sense of emotion on the UT campus that night.

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