East Tennessee SPJ announces the 2023 Golden Press Card Awards

Golden Press Card

Seventy-seven Golden Press Card winners were announced Thursday by the East Tennessee Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Honored were nearly 80 student and professional journalists or teams of journalists representing 15 news organizations from the Tri-Cities to Chattanooga.

The Golden Press Card Awards honor the most outstanding journalism produced in East Tennessee from the previous year.

The Golden Press Card Award, the “Best of Show” Award, went to Robin Wilhoit and John North of WBIR for “A Son’s Story of Abuse and Forgiveness.”

The judges said: A devastating story of child abuse, yet there’s so much hope thanks to the strength of the victims. Tremendously reported and presented.

The package from Wilhoit and North also won in the “General Reporting – Television” category.

Judging of the East Tennessee entries was coordinated by the LA Press Club.

First place in the Horace V. Wells Jr. Community Service Award, the second top award of the Golden Press Card, went to Brittany Tarwater and the WVLT staff for “A Tennessee Waltz: Ray Blanton’s Last Dance.”

The judges said: In this compelling documentary, WVLT unearthed some shocking information about former Tennessee Gov. Ray Blanton’s administration and its cash-to-clemency scheme. This is history that the public, both in and out of Tennessee, should know.

Tarwater’s package also won first place in “Documentary/Public Affairs Programming — Television.”

The News Sentinel was the news organization winning the most awards with 24 first or second place honors.

A complete list of winners is on the chapter’s website, ETSPJ.org.

The awards were held at Maple Hall in downtown Knoxville.

The 2024 Golden Press Card Awards will begin accepting entries in early 2025.

(For more information, contact Maria Cornelius at mmcornelius23@gmail.com.)