WKSU Wins 10 Awards From Ohio Associated Press Media Editors for Work Created in 2014

In a ceremony held May 3 in Columbus, Ohio, WKSU was honored with 10 awards from the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors, including the top award for General Excellence (an award presented to the large market radio station with the best showing in the competition). The event celebrated the best journalism in Ohio. It is the third year that contests for print and broadcast reporting were combined.

Station journalists earned the top prizes for Best Reporter in Ohio. Tim Rudell took home first place for work that included ongoing reports on fracking in Northeast Ohio, the Ebola connection in Northeast Ohio, increased heroin deaths throughout the area, the high risk of landslides regionally, rare snow leopards born at the Akron Zoo, and many other timely topics. Rudell spends much of his time working from the station’s Canton news bureau in the Cultural Center for the Arts or at the downtown Akron studios at the corner of Market and Main streets. The judges said, “A great compilation of the reporter’s depth and ability to tell both shorter and more in-depth stories in a clear and concise way. The reporter obviously knows what works and what doesn’t and knows how to tell a wide variety of stories.”

M.L. Schultze, who is WKSU’s web editor as well as a full-time reporter, came in second for Best Reporter. The judges said, “Excellent work by a reporter who can make sense of facts and present them in an understandable way. Great job.”

WKSU also swept the awards for Best Breaking News Coverage. Kevin Niedermier, who is stationed in WKSU’s Cleveland Bureau in WKYC’s studios, topped the list with a short but informative report on the announcement granting Cleveland the 2016 Republican National Convention. Right behind him in second place was Kabir Bhatia providing an optimistic spin on United’s choice to pull its hub at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. 

Amanda Rabinowitz took home her second consecutive first-place award for her work as local anchor for NPR’s “Morning Edition.” Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. She also received first-place honors for her series “Heroin: Big Trouble in a Small Town,” which told personal stories of people in Dover and New Philadelphia who have been touched by the growing heroin epidemic in rural Ohio. The judges said, “Robust coverage on air and online on a heavy topic. Excellent series.” Rabinowitz took home a second-place award for Extraordinary Coverage of a Scheduled Event for her reporting on Gay Games 9.

The efforts of the newsroom and other staff were recognized with the first-place award for Best Digital Presence. Chuck Poulton, director of IT and engineering, led WKSU’s digital charge including the WKSU.org website; Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages; and Android and iPhone mobile apps. During 2014, WKSU used its digital footprint to add background and more engaging information to stories like Akron’s Ebola scare, LeBron James’ return to Northeast Ohio, special news series (like Rabinowitz’s coverage the Gay Games and Vivian Goodman’s “Quick Bites” features), regional arts activities, station events and more. 

Jeff St. Clair picked up a second-place award for Best Use of Sound for a tour of a recently updated Timken Steel factory floor. The judges said, “Excellent placement of natural sound and soundbites that, combined, help the listener visualize this place. Terrific storytelling through sound.”

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,400 daily newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States. Members of the Associated Press include 127 broadcast stations in Ohio. Twenty-five broadcasters submitted 323 entries in the contest, which featured news, sports and weather reporting, as well as features, documentaries and photography from 2014.

WKSU is an award-winning public radio station and service of Kent State University that broadcasts to 22 counties throughout Northeast Ohio from the station’s primary signal at 89.7. WKSU content also can be heard over WKRW 89.3 (Wooster), WKRJ 91.5 (Dover/New Philadelphia), WKSV 89.1 (Thompson), WNRK 90.7 (Norwalk) and W239AZ 95.7 (Ashland). The station adds WKSU-2 Folk Alley, WKSU-3 The Classical Channel and WKSU-4 The News Channel over HD Radio and as streaming audio at www.wksu.org.

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Media Contact:
Ann VerWiebe, verwiebe@wksu.org, 330-672-9153

POSTED: Friday, May 8, 2015 - 12:47pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 8, 2015 - 12:47pm
Ann VerWiebe