Better Newspaper Contest

2014 Award Winners

Hoosier State Press Association - The Indiana Publisher - Better Newspaper Contest

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Page 39 of 67

Page 40 Best News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure/Category 1 First place Children feared dead Kate Knable & Tom Lange Daily Journal (Franklin) Comments: Comprehensive coverage of a tragic fire, written under big-time deadline pressure and under tough condi- tions. Second place Not guilty Jerod Clapp The News & Tribune (Jeffersonville) Comments: Very thorough coverage of a controversial ver- dict in a high-publicity murder case. Third place Miracle at Mount Baldy Staff The News-Dispatch (Michigan City) Comments: An unusual incident – a boy buried under 11 feet of sand – gets comprehensive treatment under deadline pressure. Good photos as well, and I thought the timestamps on them were a good touch. Best News Coverage With No Deadline Pressure/Category 2 First place The virtual campaign Maribeth Vaughn Daily Reporter (Greenfield) Comments: This story provided a unique look at campaigns in today's world. Well-done. Second place The faces of poverty Matt Getts The News-Sun (Kendallville) Comments: Like the graphic on the front page. Was obvious this story took some effort. Third place Bridging the future Matt Koesters The News & Tribune (Jeffersonville) Comments: Good use of breakouts and art to tie the whole package together. Best Ongoing News Coverage/Category 3 First place Clark County drug court Gary Popp The News & Tribune (Jeffersonville) Comments: A classic case of a newspaper getting a whiff of something egregious and chasing it through, story by story, to definitive action. Second place Ohio River Bridges Staff The News & Tribune (Jeffersonville) Comments: Enterprise idea expertly executed, complete with online component. The bridge is obviously a game-changer for Hoosiers in southern Indiana, affecting several towns and many aspects of citizens' lives and the livelihoods of their communities. The staff of The News & Tribune put faces in the paper rather than just reporting that a bridge was being built. It's hard to imagine greater depth of reporting on this type of project. Third place Miracle at Mount Baldy Staff The News-Dispatch (Michigan City) Comments: This was my favorite among the entries in which a news story falls into your lap. In this case, a small staff was able to do an admirable job covering a very big story. Division 4 Kate Knable & Tom Lange Daily Journal (Franklin) Three times, they went inside a burning Nineveh home to try to rescue the two babies inside. Each time, the flames drove them back. First, the mother went in, after telling her oldest daughter to get out of their second floor duplex. Her 6-month-old and almost 2-year-old children, believed to be daughters, were still inside. A Prince's Lakes police officer arrived, and he, too, tried to go in and get them out but was overcome by smoke and flames. Three Nineveh firefighters had raced to the scene and tried to rescue the children. They, too, were driven back. Three hours after frantic callers reported a blaze that was higher than the trees and could be seen from blocks away, the Bargersville Fire Department turned over the investigation to the Johnson County coroner's office, the sheriff's office and the Indiana State Fire Marshal. Investigators were waiting on a search warrant to go through the home late Friday. The fire was not believed to be a crime, but officials planned to treat it that way just in case, Sheriff Doug Cox said. Firefighters feared the two children were still inside and know that they could not have survived the blaze, Bargersville Fire Chief Jason Ramey said. "By all means, it's prob- ably the worst incident we can encounter," Ramey said. The family members' names have not been released. Coroner Craig Lutz began interviewing witnesses while firefighters searched the second floor of the home with flashlights. The second floor was barely a shell. The fire broke out just before 5 p.m. at a two-story home in the 1100 block of East County Road 775S in Nineveh. By 8 p.m., with the mother at an Indianapolis hospital fighting for her life from burns and smoke inhalation, the oldest daughter released to family and the two remaining children unaccounted for, firefighters said they were no longer Maribeth Vaughn Daily Reporter (Greenfield) Though yard signs are just beginning to dot yards and roadsides in Hancock County, the names and faces of local candidates have been scrolling across smartphone displays and computer screens for months now in a trend that's changing the way candidates reach voters. Facebook is being tapped by local candidates as a way to spread their message and gain support for the May 6 primary election. While most aren't ditching traditional forms of campaigning, they say the obvious trend toward spreading information online is something that can't be ignored in the race for the popular vote. "Facebook 'likes' do not vote, but the people who 'like' do," said incumbent Prosecutor Michael Griffin, pointing to the 1,676 followers of his campaign page. "I hope that is some indication of approval on the job we've been doing." And if Facebook "likes" could vote, Griffin would be well ahead of his challenger. Brent Eaton has only a quarter of the Facebook followers. But both acknowledge that while the social media site is a tool to reach out to potential voters, it's not the only means of earning the Republican nomination. "It's like anything: I don't think it's wise to rely on any one medium exclusively," said Eaton. "You want to try to have some overlaps to reach people in different ways." That's the key in a successful campaign, said Brandon Waite, a local expert on the effect of social media on election campaigns. Waite, an assistant professor of political science at Ball State University, has been studying the issue seven years, dating to just before Barack Obama successfully rode the wave of social media in the 2008 presidential election. "In 2008, Obama got all the hype for capturing the Children feared dead Clark County drug court The virtual campaign For complete story, see Click on "Contests." For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Gary Popp The News & Tribune (Jeffersonville) A Clark County judge has ordered an investigation following the incarceration of a participant in the Clark County Drug Treatment program. That probe by a private investigator is complete but is not being released by Vicki Carmichael, the judge who hired the private investigator, nor Jerry Jacobi, the judge that requested it. However, the investigation's invoice points to the arrest of a participant in Clark County's drug court, which is overseen by Jacobi's Circuit Court No. 2. The invoice, obtained from the Clark County Auditor's Office, reveals the investigation was conducted by Fleeman Investigations Inc., of Sellersburg, for $1,050 for 15 hours billed. The findings of the investigation – paid for by public tax dollars – have been deemed a personnel matter and, therefore, have not been disclosed to The News and Tribune, despite a public information request. The invoice has the signature of Carmichael, Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 judge. Carmichael, the presiding circuit court judge in Clark County, recently said she had retained the services of Jack Fleeman after Jacobi had come to her requesting the investigation into his court's personnel. Jacobi could have requested the investigation without Carmichael's approval, but his decision to proceed though her was acceptable procedure, Carmichael said. Jacobi's circuit court hosts and shares an overview of the drug court program with the Clark County Probation Department. Carmichael and Jacobi have reviewed the For complete story, see Click on "Contests."

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