Better Newspaper Contest

2014 Award Winners

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

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Page 58 of 67

Page 59 Best General Commentary/Category 4 First place Robert King The Indianapolis Star Comments: Exceptional writer, skilled storyteller. Makes per- sonal and emotional connection with the reader. Leads me to care about the people, the problems and the issues. Second place Matthew Tully The Indianapolis Star Comments: A fine writer who chooses interesting topics. Story about small-town life a great example of how you can have depth without length. Piece that thanks police officer shows how a creative approach can turn an ordinary subject into a powerful piece of journalism Third place Erika Smith The Indianapolis Star Comments: Strong writer who demands attention to serious issues without being preachy. Story about McDonald's a great example of how common sense can sometimes trump the best intentions. Best Editorial Writer/Category 5 First place Tim Harmon The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) Comments: Creative and colorful in delivery, these editori- als engage readers in topics of broad interest without being overly heavy, but by deeply informing. Strong information and depth. Second place Karen Francisco The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) Comments: These editorials are deeply reported and per- suasive in tone, pulling readers in with important context and heft. Third place Alesia Redding South Bend Tribune Comments: Nice writing through strongly worded and crisp delivery with a bite, all on issues of high importance to the community. Best Business/Economic News Coverage/ Category 6 First place Citizens pay hikes raise concerns Tony Cook The Indianapolis Star Comments: Huge outrage factor. Well-reported. An interest- ing read. Second place Company's legacy lives on in South Bend Kevin Allen South Bend Tribune Comments: Great history lesson about Studebaker and its legacy. Very interesting. Third place How much for a new hip? It depends John Russell & Mark Nichols The Indianapolis Star Comments: Good information. Great graphic with lots of information for the consumer. Division 6 A year later: At home on Near Eastside Robert King The Indianapolis Star "When we came here a year ago, we were somewhat fearful. Today, I'd say, fear has been replaced by awareness." – Robert King Folks wrote to ask me if I had taken leave of my senses, if I was naive or just plain stupid. Folks wrote me with their personal horror stories about how they fled from here and vowed never to return; and they were angry we'd consider moving into the land they'd forsaken. And one gentleman told me that, for bringing my family here, for putting them in danger and subjecting them to the bad things that were bound to happen to us, I was the worst kind of father. He even included a phone number. It was the police victim's assistance unit. These were just a few of the responses I received a year ago this month after I wrote a column announcing that my family and I were leaving the comforts of suburbia to move to the Near Eastside. Even before the harbingers of doom rose to speak, I carried a sober wariness about where we were headed. I'd spent a lot of time writing about the decay of the Near Eastside and about one of the city's most notorious crimes – the murders of seven people on North Hamilton Avenue. Now, instead of being a subject in a story, that spot was a patch of grass less than 100 yards from our back door. Overriding everything was the conviction my wife, Tammy, and I shared that we were being called to a new place for a new purpose. Both of us had long felt drawn to places like this. It is where we did work with our churches. It was where I kept finding things to write about when it came to poverty and other social ills. But each night, I'd jump in my car and drive away from it all, back to our cul-de-sac in the quiet of suburbia. And Tim Harmon The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) WHEREAS, we have read the resolution passed, perhaps portentously, on Friday the 13th by the newly named "Assembly of State Legislatures" in Indianapolis, and; WHEREAS, this group of constitutional adventurers seem actually to believe in their never-before-tried approach to "fixing" the federal stalemate that their fellow Republicans are largely responsible for creating; NOTWITHSTANDING, that Democratic Sen. Jim Arnold of LaPorte has somehow talked himself into believing that Democrats, or anybody but rockribbed conservative Republicans, could ever hope to have a voice in this attempt to hijack the U.S. Constitution, and; WHEREAS, though erudite battalions of radio talk-show hosts and social media bottom-dwellers have determined the most remarkable document of human governance ever written is worth nothing more than yesterday's grocery list, we disagree, and; WHEREAS, there are plenty of ways to make your voice heard if you want to change the system without taking fire axes to the very foundation of the government that has guaranteed American liberty for more than two centuries, such as, just off the top of our head, oh… actually showing up to vote in elections; THEREFORE WE, the four-member editorial board of a mid-sized Midwestern newspaper, having no more right to tell America how to remake the U.S. Constitution than this group of self-appointed saviors in Indianapolis do, now propose: THAT right-thinking Hoosiers dissociate themselves from this zany crusade while it is still largely a novelty instead of a national embarrassment, and that; THE NORMALLY thoughtful, reasonable Fort Wayne Sen. David Long, who is one of the leaders of this effort, come to his senses before it's too late. Be it resolved … Citizens pay hikes raise concerns For complete story, see Click on "Contests." Tony Cook The Indianapolis Star Dozens of gold rings. A $6,500 holiday lunch catered by the Ritz Charles. And $2.9 million for the CEO. Those aren't the biggest factors behind Citizens Energy Group's decision to seek a 14.7 percent increase in water rates, but they're the ones raising eyebrows. The company, which provides water to about 300,000 Indianapolis- area residents, wants state regulators to approve the rate hike primarily to fund big-ticket infrastructure improvements. Most agree those upgrades are badly needed. The long-neglected water system had 730 water main breaks last year and some sections date back to the 1800s. But other expenses, including big paychecks and large raises for Citizens executives, are prompting concerns about the company's stewardship of ratepayer dollars – and raising questions about its promise to keep rate slow. An Indianapolis Star review found that Citizens CEO Carey Lykins earned $2.9 million in 2012 – nearly double what he made the previous year and more than triple what the leaders of other large municipal gas utilities earned. About $600,000 of that was base salary. The rest was executive and short-term incentive pay. In an interview with The Star, Lykins defended his pay, saying it's comparable to what executives make at similarly sized, primarily private utilities. He also emphasized that the company's incentive system results in payouts every other year, creating the appearance of large raises in alternating years. But Lykins' pay was virtually unchanged from For complete story, see Click on "Contests."

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