You are on page 1of 30

Radio

Feature Story
FIRST
Laura Herberg
WDET-FM
John's Carpet House
Judges’ comments: Superb sense of place and people, with a lil' bit of whimsy
and vivid reporting.
SECOND
Laura Herberg
WDET-FM
CuriousiD Lahser
Judges’ comments: Great piece on a local mystery. Enjoyed going along on this
quest for a street's backstory.
THIRD
Lester Graham Michigan Radio
One Detroit mom's journey from welfare to the workforce
Judges’ comments: Great piece. Spectacular voicing. The deep dive into Fatima's
story personalized large, complicated issue.
HONORABLE MENTION
MSU's School of Journalism Students, WKAR Radio, April Van Buren, Geri Alumit
Zeldes
MSU
Living History
Judges’ comments: Powerful series. Important, heart-rending stories with deft
editing.
HONORABLE MENTION
Laura Weber-Davis WDET-FM
CuriousiD: Black Bottom
Judges’ comments: Enjoyed the mix of archival recordings, voices. Strong
reporting. Really delivered on answer to audience question.
General News
FIRST
WDET News WDET-FM
Detroit Bankruptcy One Year Later
Judges’ comments: Thoughtful, informative series.
SECOND
Pat Batcheller, Quinn Klinefelter, Jerome Vaughn
Palm Sunday Tornadoes
THIRD
WDET News WDET-FM
Parks

1

WDET-FM

Investigative Reporting
FIRST
Kate Wells, Joe Linstroth
Michigan Radio
Sexual Assault Investigations at MSU: a Broken System, and the Efforts to Fix it
Judges’ comments: Spectacular, in-depth reporting on a delicate issue. Great
initiative from reporting team.
News Special / Documentary
FIRST
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Not Safe to Drink
Judges’ comments: Outstanding work. From beginning to end, a superb
documentary. In-depth reporting, great production and storytelling. Congrats to all
involved.
Newscast
FIRST
Jerome Vaughn
WDET-FM
5:44 pm newscast 102015
Judges’ comments: Strong, solid newscast across the board.
SECOND
Jerome Vaughn
WDET-FM
5:44 pm newscast 092315
Spot or Breaking News
FIRST
Pat Batcheller, Jerome Vaughn
WDET-FM
SE Michigan Tornadoes
Judges’ comments: Good reporting, incisive questioning. Shows new steam's
quick response, initiative.

Online
Best Localization of a National Story
FIRST
Charles Crumm
The Oakland Press
More seek Concealed Pistol Licenses as process changes and nationwide violence
continues. Rising water costs linked to aging infrastructure needs
Judges’ comments: Comprehensive look at gun licensing and water needs that
makes good use of graphics. Well written, the articles help readers understand the
complexities of the subjects in a thoughtful way.

2

Blogging
FIRST
Bill Shea
Crain's Detroit Business
Judges’ comments: The writer demonstrates his deep knowledge of a wide
variety of subjects with these three entries and displays a knack for digging deeper
than just the headline. In each example, the writer digs down deep into the issue,
providing perspective and analysis on the issues by using his own knowledge and
good reporting. And, as it should be in a business publication, the focus is always on
the business side of the story. Instead of just writing about a bad Detroit Lions
season, the writer explains why low attendance -- or boycotting -- really doesn't
affect the team's bottom line. Finally, the writer demonstrated an impressive ability
to write authoritatively about a variety of subjects -- from baseball ownership to
football economics to Kid Rock and the Civil War.
SECOND
Kirk Pinho
Crain's Detroit Business
Judges’ comments: This writer's submissions do a great job of showing the
reader what happens behind the scenes in his reporting. This is best exemplified by
this lunchtime post, where he explains how he broke a big development story, and
the Lee Plaza post, where he confides in the reader how he really feels about the
project and how he approached the interview.
THIRD
Anna Clark Freelance
The Evolution of Michigan Media
HONORABLE MENTION
Paula Pasche
The Oakland Press
Five thoughts about Ndamukong Suh’s departure from Detroit Lions, Detroit Lions —
Dominic Raiola had an amazing run, Detroit Lions: Barefoot quarterbacks a mystery
no longer
Digital Media Presentation
FIRST
Detroit News Staff The Detroit News
Foreclosures fuel Detroit blight, cost city $500 million
Judges’ comments: Very visual story-telling. Love the before/after and 360degree pictures of the abandoned home. It really went the extra mile to tell the
story.
SECOND
Robert Snell
The Detroit News
The phantom and the fugitive
THIRD
Nancy Hanus, Norman Witte
Most Connected

Crain's Detroit Business

HONORABLE MENTION
Sandra Svoboda, Michael Ference
WDET-FM
Belle Isle Nature Restoration: A Tour of the Park's East End
3


HONORABLE MENTION
J.Carlisle Larsen, Melissa Mason, Jessica McInchak WDET-FM
Purchasing Detroit’s Vacant Land: Stories from the Side Lots
Feature Story
FIRST
Charlotte Massey The Detroit News
A dangerous, desperate journey
Judges’ comments: A powerful story that takes the reader along on a journey
across the ocean and around Europe. The amount of reporting that went into this
story is evident, but doesn't bog down the narrative. Much like the stolpersteine
that the piece centers on, this personal story makes the story of the Holocaust less
abstract.
SECOND
Mark Stryker
Detroit Free Press
Detroit street art: 35 must-see pieces
Judges’ comments: Beautiful. Beautiful art, beautiful digital presentation and
beautiful words to accompany and describe each piece of art. The writer could have
just posted all of the pictures, but instead went that extra step to describe each
piece, tell its story, and provide insight into the city's vast graffiti and street art
scene. A very informative and interesting piece.
THIRD
Paula Pasche The Oakland Press
Detroit Lions at Silverdome: The glory days, Lions at the Silverdome: Players loved
the home-field advantage, Lions at the Silverdome: Four biggest games
Judges’ comments: An interesting look at a famous old building from three
interesting and distinct angles -- the writer, the players and the games. Even if
you've never been to the Silverdome, you could see, hear and smell it after reading
these pieces.
HONORABLE MENTION
Sam Schlenner, Brian Hlavaty
OU News Bureau / Oakland University
The curious work ethic of a Ferndale rock ‘n’ writer
General News
FIRST
Staff
Detroit Free Press
50 Detroiters: Voices from our city
Judges’ comments:
The depth and scope of the articles gave a stunning
picture of Detroiters' feelings about how far the city has come ... or hasn't. A city in
bankruptcy is on the brink, but the people who hold on in the community, many
discussed here, help it get back on its feet. Not many cities declare bankruptcy, and
the reports written give readers a good sense of the seriousness of the city's plight.
Well-written, diverse in its coverage and a thought-provoking look at Detroit's
ongoing recovery.
SECOND
WDET Staff WDET-FM
Detroit Bankruptcy One Year Later
4

Judges’ comments: Narrowly missed First place, but still a comprehensive look at
a complex, and character-building, period for the city. Reports were well-rounded,
presenting diverse views that would help a newcomer to the city ... or a long-time
resident ... better understand how Detroit evolved into a troubled community and
how it's trying to pull itself back up by its bootstraps.
THIRD
Jay Greene Crain's Detroit Business
Henry Ford-Kaiser Permanente
Judges’ comments: With health care an increasingly volatile, and confusing,
subject, readers are eager to learn whatever they can to help them make informed
decisions. A merger between two giants raises myriad questions for the future of
community health care. This report sets the discussions in motion for what could
become a major development in the area. Well-written and thought-provoking.
HONORABLE MENTION
Amber Harvey
WDET-FM
Riverside Park Unauthorized Work
Investigative Reporting
FIRST
Anna Clark Freelance
The Threat to Detroit’s Rebound Isn’t Crime or the Economy, It’s the Mortgage
Industry
Judges’ comments: Smart, nuanced and deep, Anna Clark's reporting exposes a
new form of redlining in Detroit's neighborhoods, with banks denying mortgages to
worthy homebuyers, acting as an impediment to Detroit's emerging comeback. She
begins with a young couple, putting a human face on the problem, and readers
immediately feel Clark's passion for her home region, proof positive that journalism
is best when the journalist is caring and invested. The antithesis of drive-by
reporting, Clark dug in. And we're better for it. Kudos!
SECOND
Crystal A. Proxmire The Oakland County 115 News
A Year's Worth of Change in Ferndale Housing Commission
Judges’ comments: Crystal Proxmire logs countless hours on the minutia of the
Ferndale Housing Commission and thank God for her. Because the small stuff adds
up to big truths which could easily be overlooked by the massive bureaucracy at
HUD were it not for her tireless and persistent reporting. Proxmire treats the drug
addled flameout of Housing Manager Deb Wilson, caught stealing drugs from her
own poor residents and leading police on a high-speed chase, as more than a spot
news headline. Proxmire's relentless attention detail reveals Wilson's crimes as part
of a larger pattern of mismanagement. Good work.
Spot or Breaking News
FIRST
Tom Henderson, Kirk Pinho, Jennette Smith
Rocket Fiber

Crain's Detroit Business

SECOND
Kirk Pinho, Dustin Walsh Crain's Detroit Business
Olga's bankruptcy
5

6

Print - All Class
Automotive Reporting
FIRST
Alisa Priddle, Brent Snavely, Greg Gardner
Detroit Free Press
UAW contract talks coverage
Judges’ comments: Excellent job of explanatory journalism against a deadline.
Coverage is even-handed and issues are presented in such a way that even those
who aren't familiar with the auto industry can understand what was at stake in the
negotiations.
SECOND
Mark Phelan
Detroit Free Press
Auto reporting by Mark Phelan
THIRD
Keith Naughton
Driverless Cars

Bloomberg News

Car Review
FIRST
Henry Payne
The Detroit News
Judges’ comments: With humor, good reporting and great detail, the writer
makes his car reviews something you want to read from beginning to end. The
loose, conversational tone makes it feel like you're getting car advice from a good
friend (a good thing) and the writing doesn't get too bogged down in technical
details (that's saved for the box).
SECOND
Mark Phelan
Detroit Free Press
Judges’ comments:
When you read one of the writer's car reviews, you
walk away feeling like you know exactly what you're going to get from the car.
Based on his descriptions, you can tell he's using the cars as any regular person
would -- not just zipping it around a closed course. The comparisons with other,
similar cars also help inform the car-buying reader.
Criticism
FIRST
Adam Graham
The Detroit News
Judges’ comments: Fun to read reviews that made me wish I had been there.
Colorful and smooth, with word riffs that helped you understand the reviewer was
being objective, but had fun telling you what a great time he'd had. You don't have
to be Prince or Madonna fans to enjoy the reads.
SECOND
Mark Stryker

Detroit Free Press

Editorial Cartoon
FIRST
Daniel Saad
Crain's Detroit Business
7

Editorial cartoons
Judges’ comments: Daniel Saad successfully skewers Wayne County local issues
with a light, humorous touch and deft draftsmanship.
Informational Graphics
FIRST
Tim Summers
The Detroit News
Raid: What Investigation Showed
Judges’ comments: I awarded this infographic with the top prize because it
makes the story easier to understand. If you're reading a strict narrative then it
would go bedroom, other bedroom, bathroom, then living room. Instead you're able
to see where everything is in relation to each other and watch the progression of
the shooting.
SECOND
Tim Summers
The Detroit News
The Decimation of One City Block
Judges’ comments: The overview is clear and concise. It could stand on it's own if
needed.
THIRD
Martha Thierry
Detroit Free Press
How the locks keep Great Lakes shipping moving
Judges’ comments: Vibrant colors, a lot of information, and varying views make this
a solid entry.
HONORABLE MENTION
Martha Thierry
Detroit Free Press
The delicate balance of Isle Royale
HONORABLE MENTION
Eric Millikin
Detroit Free Press
Spartacular
Judges’ comments: More art than info, but it's fantastic.

8

Print Class A
Consumer / Watchdog Reporting
FIRST
Staff
Detroit Free Press
Detroit Rising
Judges’ comments: Untangling the Detroit bankruptcy will take years--but these
stories of the personal victories--and defeats--suffered by retirees, workers and the
citizens they serve put a face on the enormous dollar amounts involved. A
compelling read, comprehensively reported.
SECOND
David Jesse Detroit Free Press
Inconsistent justice for college sex assault survivors
Judges’ comments: A comprehensive and serious investigation into the skewed
justice meted out in cases of college sexual assault. In light of the flawed Rolling
Stone stories from 2014, this topic resonates. The victims and the accused are both
treated unfairly in this "shadow" justice system. And all institutions can hide behind
Clery Act and Title IX when reporting their problems to the community at large.
Cover Design
FIRST
Lauren Jeziorski, Kelly Buren, Jose Zamudio Metro Parent/BLAC Detroit
December Metro Parent
Judges’ comments: What a great photo to anchor the cover! The wry smile and
the embarrassing pajamas are a great image and I love the bunny ears in front of
the logo. Nice interplay of the bight reds of the photo with the understated grey of
the headlines placed around the page, all in perfect balance. This is eye-catching
work, congratulations!
Editorial Writing
FIRST
Free Press Editorial Board
Detroit Free Press
We Stand Together
Judges’ comments: This editorial emphasizes, as it should, the local impact and
the history of the region's Arab communities. But the paper's editorial board nails
what matters with this: "And so we were reluctant to lend this institution’s voice to a
denunciation that might further Trump’s cause. But some slurs are so heinous that
they must be answered. And some lies are so vile that they become dangerous if
not met with truth, and strength." Excellent work here explaining to readers why
these lies must be challenged.
SECOND
Detroit News Editorial Board
Michigan Road Repairs
Judges’ comments:

The Detroit News

9

Explanatory Story
FIRST
Laura Berman
The Detroit News
The Downfall of Dr. Farid Fata
Judges’ comments:
An exemplary example of personalizing the story of a
monster by meticulously telling the story of his victims. The writing is flawless. The
story is one of the most compelling I've read in a long time. Exceptional work!
SECOND
L.L. Brasier
Detroit Free Press
Justifiable seizures? Or legal shakedowns by police?
Judges’ comments: Shocking abuse of forfeiture laws that needed to be told.
THIRD
Chad Livengood
Big Three Tax Credits

The Detroit News

Feature Page Design, newspapers only
FIRST
Diana Thomas McNary
The Detroit News
Judges’ comments: Absolutely beautiful, clean and neat. The muted green
shades play very well against the sunlight filtering through the curtains with the
chair anchoring the image at bottom left. I particularly like the bold white headline
placed over the chair. The image and its message are subdued and sophisticated.
Who doesn't want that room to live in?
Feature Photography
FIRST
Dale G. Young
The Detroit News
Steer Wrestler
Judges’ comments:
Great capture of the steer wrestling. This one has all the
elements: rider in mid-air, hat flying off, and a brightly colored shirt to really draw
your attention to the action. Well done.
SECOND
Brandy Baker
The Detroit News
Snoozing Cheerleaders
Judges’ comments: Very funny moment, and technically photographed well. I
think the composition could be a bit better, the angle is just a bit weird, and could
be cleaned up by shooting more straight on.
THIRD
Dale G. Young
The Detroit News
Wonder What’s for Lunch?
Judges’ comments: Very funny moment, and technically photographed well. I
think the composition could be a bit better, the angle is just a bit weird, and could
be cleaned up by shooting more straight on.
Feature Story
FIRST
John Carlisle
Detroit Free Press
What about Uncle Oscar? Family's GoFundMe plea goes awry
10

Judges’ comments: Just a heartbreaking story -- on so many levels -- so vividly
told, I know it will stay with me for a long time. The imagery and details are
seamlessly blended, and the opening and closing scenes are exquisitely crafted.
Reading John Carlisle's work in this category has been inspiring.
SECOND
John Carlisle
Detroit Free Press
Couple turns dreams into reality in U.P. wild
Judges’ comments: A beautiful piece of writing. The introduction put me right
where the story was, in the silence, and the story was a fascinating look at two
people in love with living in a way most of us would consider unthinkable. I have
had friends from Michigan tell me the Upper Penninsula is a world all it's own. John
Carlisle really took me there in his entries.
THIRD
Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News
Hockey Features by Gregg Krupa of The Detroit News
Judges’ comments: I struggled with awarding this series in this category because
I presume their is a category for sports feature, where I presume this would be
competitive. But this is the category and stories I was given to judge, and what
struck me through these three different stories was that they told the tale of how
hockey is such a part of the culture in Michigan, be it in college or high school or a
broad community, male and female. These were three vivid, expertly told and
informative features that transcend simple sports writing.
HONORABLE MENTION
Amy Kuras
Metro Parent/BLAC Detroit
Raising Kids in Detroit
Judges’ comments: You made me want to move to Detroit. Initially, I wanted to
write this off as a cheerleading, First-person column. But reading, I found depth,
humor, many voices and a picture of living in the city that was honest, but
attractive.
HONORABLE MENTION
Bill McGraw
Bridge Magazine
Meet a Detroit neighborhood that’s not waiting for city help
Judges’ comments: I really enjoyed reading a number of Bridge stories judging
this category. All were about important topics, all contained compelling scenes and
stories. This was the most cohesive, telling the story of communities realizing help
is not coming to recover from financial and cultural devastation and doing what they
need to Help their communities revive. It is a prime example of the important work
feature stories can do.
General Column
FIRST
Nancy Kaffer
Detroit Free Press
Judges’ comments: Ms. Kaffer's skilled reporting and expository writing on the
Flint water crisis sets the bar high. Top-notch research combined with a powerful
voice brings the urgency of the matter to the public's eye. Her columns changed
lives. Well done.
SECOND
Mitch Albom Detroit Free Press
11

Judges’ comments: Mr. Albom induces emotions with his powerful prose. You feel
his words in your gut. Lovely writing.
THIRD
Rochelle Riley
Detroit Free Press
Judges’ comments: Ms. Riley engages her audience through her nuances and
narratives. Her community is lucky to have such a passionate advocate.
General News
FIRST
Chad Livengood, Shawn D. Lewis, Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News
Detroit Public School District Woes
Judges’ comments: Excellent examination of a very serious problem that, I
assume, had been overlooked.
SECOND
Joel Kurth, Christine MacDonald, Louis Aguilar
Arson in Detroit

The Detroit News

THIRD
David Welch
Bloomberg News
UAW Trades Jobs for Historic Pay Gains
Headline Writing
FIRST
Daren Tomhave
The Detroit News
Judges’ comments: Solid understanding of entire sports stories that must be
distilled down, and catchy wordplay. Great choice of verbs on game stories.
SECOND
Keith Roberts
The Detroit News
Judges’ comments:
medical codes for whatever - the deck will really get them
reading nice alliterations throughout.
THIRD
Andreas Supanich The Detroit News
Judges’ comments: A good "kicker" headline over a photo can mean so much.
"You missed a spot" over two mud-covered frolickers was a perfect choice.
Investigative Reporting
FIRST
Joel Kurth, Christine MacDonald
The Detroit News
Detroit's Foreclosure Meltdown
Judges’ comments: While the housing bubble burst nearly 10 years ago, this
series gives a comprehensive look at the legacy that event left behind. Through
rigorous use of data from multiple sources and excellent shoe-leather reporting, the
series offers both a 10,000-foot view of the mortgage crisis and a block-level view of
its impact. A lot of time and energy went into this project.
SECOND
Chad Livengood
The Detroit News
Courser-Gamrat Scandal in the Michigan Legislature
12

Judges’ comments: After receiving the bombshell recording, great follow-through
to expose the shenanigans of these foolish legislators.
THIRD
L.L. Brasier Detroit Free Press
Does sex offender registry make us safer?
Judges’ comments: Nice work highlighting the unintended consequences of this
public policy. Story likely would have competed for First or second had it not
included the correction at the top, which displays a lack of reporting rigor.
HONORABLE MENTION
Lee DeVito Detroit Metro Times
Dire Straits
HONORABLE MENTION
Ron French, Ted Roelofs Bridge Magazine
Sex assaults of Michigan's juvenile offenders

Localization of National Story
FIRST
Nancy Derringer, Ron French, Mike Wilkinson, Scott Sendra
Bridge
Magazine
"Game Day" -- College drinking culture and what's working to keep students safe
Judges’ comments: Excellent in-depth look into a major social issue that is often
not taken seriously as a problem. The collaborators give a very thorough look into
what it's like to live in this culture and offer substantial information on how to help
overcome it. The game day timeline is a great storytelling element that draws
readers in to give a real, frontline look into this issue. Excellent work.
SECOND
Jacquie Goetz Bluethmann
The State of Child Care

Metro Parent/BLAC Detroit

THIRD
Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press
Muslim-Americans in metro Detroit
HONORABLE MENTION
Patricia Montemurri
Conflicted Catholics

Detroit Free Press

HONORABLE MENTION
Patricia Montemurri
Detroit Free Press
Two Detroit Women Accuse Bill Cosby
Magazine Spread Design
FIRST
Kelly Buren, Lauren Jeziorski, Marina Csomor, Jose Zamudio
Metro Parent/BLAC
Detroit
Vaccine Facts Vs. Fiction
Judges’ comments: What a smart illustration, coupled with a timeline that draws
in the reader. It's a lot of information, but it's not overwhelming.
13

SECOND
Kelly Buren, Lauren Jeziorski, Marina Csomor, Jose Zamudio
Parent/BLAC Detroit
Choosing Child Care
THIRD
Kelly Buren, Lauren Jeziorski, Jose Zamudio
Warming Them Up

Metro

Metro Parent/BLAC Detroit

News Photography
FIRST
Stephen Perez
The Detroit News
Inconsolable Mother
Judges’ comments: You can't help but feel the emotion in this photo.
SECOND
Daniel Mears
I-94 Fireball

The Detroit News

THIRD
Clarence Tabb Jr.
Courtroom Vitriol

The Detroit News

Page One Design, newspapers only
FIRST
Alicia Secord
Detroit Free Press
Jimmy Hoffa page
Judges’ comments: Several elements work together to make this a very nice
page. The headlines are all clean, the typography is simple, the photo play is strong,
etc., but it's the use of color that really drives this page. The usual blue nameplate,
the orange hues of the skybox and the strong black & white photo of an enigmatic
figure in history all complement one another very nicely.
SECOND
Jean Johnson

The Detroit News

THIRD
Richard Epps

The Detroit News

Personality Profile
FIRST
Lee DeVito
Detroit Metro Times
American Idiot
Judges’ comments:
Expertly paced with a wonderful tone, this profile sucks
you in and never lets go. Writing is crisp, compelling and full of personality. It's a
perfect fit for the subject, who is a character worthy of being profiled.
SECOND
Mark Stryker
Detroit Free Press
Marcus Belgrave obituary
14

Judges’ comments:
Gorgeous writing.

Rich, colorful language set this profile apart from others.

THIRD
John Niyo
The Detroit News
Still Growing Strong: Ted Lindsay
HONORABLE MENTION
Brian McCollum
Detroit Free Press
Kid Rock before the fame
Sports Column
FIRST
John Niyo
The Detroit News
Judges’ comments: Although there were many excellent columns submitted for
judging, this writer earned First place because he had strong leads, a conversational
narrative and interesting details in each column he submitted. He gave readers a
behind-the-scenes look into John Harbaugh's world, provided a strong argument
about what the Lions should do with Ndamukong Suh's contract and explained the
reasons why and how professional soccer is making its way to Detroit.
SECOND
Bob Wojnowski
THIRD
Mitch Albom

The Detroit News
Detroit Free Press

Sports Page Design, newspapers only
FIRST
James Hollar
The Detroit News
Judges’ comments: This was the clear winner in the category. The design is clean
and engaging, interesting and eye-catching.
SECOND
Ryan Ford
SACK INK

Detroit Free Press

THIRD
Ryan Ford
400!

Detroit Free Press

Sports Photography, newspapers only
FIRST
Dale G. Young
The Detroit News
On to the Final Four
Judges’ comments: Fun, light-hearted moment. Great sports feature.
SECOND
Daniel Mears
The Detroit News
Megatron vs. Superman
Judges’ comments:
Great peak action
15

THIRD
Daniel Mears
The Detroit News
Suspended in Air
Judges’ comments: Interesting shot & angle
HONORABLE MENTION
Daniel Mears
The Detroit News
Anti-Gravity Chamber
Judges’ comments: Great action, but it lacks the key players face.
Sports Reporting
FIRST
Tony Paul, Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Police, MSU investigate softball coaches
Judges’ comments: This story was well-sourced and thoroughly researched. It
provided details and context. It made readers care, although probably many were
not following the softball team or this player regularly. It made the reader question
why it happened and care about the next steps. Very well reported and written.
SECOND
Dave Birkett
Tim Shaw & ALS

Detroit Free Press

THIRD
Jeff Seidel, Mick McCabe Detroit Free Press
Harbaugh's wonder years
Judges’ comments:
Spot or Breaking News
FIRST
Detroit News Staff
The Detroit News
"Equal Dignity": Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
Judges’ comments: Great and comprehensive coverage of a landmark event. You
can tell the staff had planned for this day and was ready to cover it on a national,
state and local level and they executed.

16

Print Class B
Consumer / Watchdog Reporting
FIRST
Paul Kampe
The Oakland Press
Rochester’s $12 million parking structures will lack surveillance cameras
Judges’ comments: This reporting resulted in change.
Explanatory Story
FIRST
Dustin Walsh, Pierrette Templeton, Lisa Sawyer, Cindy Goodaker Crain's Detroit
Business
Millennials in the Workplace
Judges’ comments: A comprehensive look at -- and explanation of the millennial
in the workplace. Looks at this demographic from a number of angles. Well written
and interesting.
SECOND
Monica Drake, Pat Caputo The Oakland Press
3-part series: Suicide - the epidemic nobody wants to talk about
Judges’ comments:
Feature Page Design
FIRST
Pierrette Templeton
Crain's Detroit Business
Detroit 2.0
Judges’ comments: I like the flat design of the illustration and the whimsical
approach to the skyline. My only wish is that the lines in the buildings (windows
etc.) were as clean as the lines elsewhere in the illo.
Feature Photography
FIRST
Tim Thompson
The Oakland Press
Hellzapoppin circus sideshow in Pontiac for two October weekends
Judges’ comments: Great photographs of Short E., the circus performer. The
handstand photo is very unique.
Feature Story
FIRST
Gary Anglebrandt Crain's Detroit Business
Second Stage
Judges’ comments: Helpful series that both profiles some interesting small
businesses and provides helpful information for those considering starting a
business. We need journalism like this.
SECOND
Gina Joseph
Macomb Daily
Operation Babylift adoptee 40 years later
17

THIRD
Nicole Hayden
Foster care series

The Times Herald

HONORABLE MENTION
Gary Graff
The Oakland Press
Ann Arbor’s Ark celebrates 50 years of folkin’ around
General Column
FIRST
Jeff Payne
Macomb Daily
Judges’ comments: Mr. Payne brings a beloved alien to life in his writings on Mr.
Nimoy's death. He covers big news in a personal way. Good job.
SECOND
Kenneth Kish
Macomb Daily
Judges’ comments: M. Kish masterfully brings people to life in his writings.
Lovely work.
General News
FIRST
Jay Greene
Crain's Detroit Business
Blue Cross
Judges’ comments: Good reporting of an important story.
SECOND
Jameson Cook
Unjust verdict?
THIRD
Dustin Walsh
MEGA mess

Macomb Daily

Crain's Detroit Business

Headline Writing
FIRST
Beth Jachman
Crain's Detroit Business
Judges’ comments: Headlines that play well in the space assigned and work
seamlessly with the deck/drop. Turns of phrase that don't rely on puns, like "enter
the realm" related to fantasy gaming.
SECOND
Gary Piatek

Crain's Detroit Business

Investigative Reporting
FIRST
Julie Halpert
Freelance
Storm Over the UM
Judges’ comments: Good dissection of a complex issue. Constructive criticism:
No reason to rely on emails for interviews and the reporter especially did not need
18

to go all the way back to 1990 for a comment explaining the legal situation; that
could have been obtained from a fresh interview today.
Localization of a National Story
FIRST
Chad Halcom
Crain's Detroit Business
Disability: Rolls rise, funding dries
Judges’ comments: Incredibly impressive display of data-driven journalism. The
sheer breadth of information alone is impressive, but it's organized in a way that is
easy to read. The writing is clean and doesn't draw unnecessary attention to itself.
The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is that I found the most interesting part to be
about judicial discretion, and I wish that were higher in the story. I also would have
liked a bit more input, maybe just one more source, from someone who is on
disability to hear their personal experiences.
SECOND
Nicole Hayden
The Times Herald
Homeless need more than homes
Judges’ comments: Well-organized and presented comprehensive look into a
national trend localized to Michigan. Excellent access to Jenkins. His personal
perspective made the story cohesive.
THIRD
Monica Drake
The Oakland Press
Caitlyn Jenner honors West Bloomfield transgender boy
Judges’ comments: Kudos to picking up on the local mention of the transgender
teen in Jenner's national speech. It's a relevant issue that's gained attention in the
past year, and the reader interest on this one would be high. I wish the reporter had
interviewed someone in an LGBT advocacy organization to give the story some
expertise. National statistics on transgender suicides would give the story more
context and root it in a larger trend. I'm not sure the comment about the stepfather
doubting the Sam's identity adds anything to the story. It would also have been nice
to hear from a friend or team mate of Sam.
News Photography
FIRST
Ray Skowronek
Macomb Daily
Lenox Township man charged with animal cruelty
Judges’ comments: Touching photo
SECOND
Tim Thompson
The Oakland Press
First couple to marry at Oakland County courthouse: ‘We’re going to tell everybody
for years’
THIRD
Paul Kampe
The Oakland Press
Hazel Park couple planning a wedding; children were key to fight

19

Personality Profile
FIRST
Gina Joseph
Macomb Daily
Paralyzed chef turns tragedy into triumph
Judges’ comments: Solid writing. Author avoids being melodramatic or overly
gushy about the subject's tragedies and current project. Story is a simple, uplifting
story. Was a pleasure reading.
SECOND
Pat Caputo
The Oakland Press
Straight Outta Brother Rice, ex-football star Greg Collins living Hollywood dream
THIRD
Paula Pasche
The Oakland Press
Detroit Lions: It’s not been easy route to NFL for Laken Tomlinson
Sports Column
FIRST
Matthew Mowery
The Oakland Press
Judges’ comments: This writer submitted columns with great variety. The
columns were well-written with strong leads. The writer had good sourcing for each
column, and he had a good blend of reporting and opinion.
SECOND
George Pohly
THIRD
Paula Pasche

Macomb Daily
The Oakland Press

Sports Reporting
FIRST
George Pohly
Macomb Daily
Team rallies around each other after teammate's death
Judges’ comments: Writer handled a difficult story with strong reporting and
good sourcing.
SECOND
Bill Shea
Crain's Detroit Business
Sport order cooks
THIRD
George Pohly
Macomb Daily
George Steele was 'mentor and father'
Spot or Breaking News
FIRST
Sherri Welch
Crain's Detroit Business
Focus: Hope
Judges’ comments: Especially in business stories, it's easy to get all the
important facts about how a business will suffer from issues, but manage to forget
20

about the people affected. This story avoids that problem deftly. Obviously a lot of
work and time went into this one, tons of great information was given, but it didn't
lose heart because one still feels for the folks who will really get hit by the effects.
Well done.
SECOND
Kirk Pinho
Crain's Detroit Business
Mexican mogul
Judges’ comments: This took a good bit of digging to get. Great work.
THIRD
Mitch Hotts
Macomb Daily
Macomb County treasurer dies
Judges’ comments: Great job commemorating an important figure in the
community. A nice variety of sources helped paint a picture of the man.
HONORABLE MENTION
Tom Henderson, Kirk Pinho, Sherri Welch
Crain's Detroit Business
Shinola
Judges’ comments: Lots of moving part brought together in one story. Tough to
get all that in one piece without cramming it too much.

21

Print Class C
Consumer / Watchdog Reporting
FIRST
Katelyn Larese
Uniting against Crime
Judges’ comments:
attention

The Voice Newspapers
Strange crime to pull off multiple times and that got my

SECOND
Terry Oparka
C & G Newspapers
Clear cutting of trees by developers prompts woodland ordinance
Judges’ comments:
Persistent coverage of important development issue
THIRD
Sarah Wojcik
C & G Newspapers
Protests spur change at animal shelter
HONORABLE MENTION
Joshua Gordon
C & G Newspapers
Wading through uncertainty
Judges’ comments: Good story but not an example of consumer or watchdog
reporting
Cover Design
FIRST
Valerie Morgan, Joe Vaughn, Kosta Finnllow
Hour Detroit
March 2015
Judges’ comments: Beautiful composition, colors, scripted cover line. And that
"TASTE" hand tattoo is perfect.
SECOND
Valerie Morgan, Roy RItchie, Veronica Soderlund
Hour Detroit
June 2015, “Best of Detroit”
Judges’ comments: Such a striking image. The font choices really underscore the
"enchanting" theme.
THIRD
Valerie Morgan, Cybelle Codish
August 2015, The Food Issue
HONORABLE MENTION
Deborah Schultz
'For Love of Wine'

Hour Detroit

Neighborhood SEEN

HONORABLE MENTION
Lauren Jeziorski, Kelly Buren, Jose Zamudio
BLAC November Cover

22

Metro Parent/BLAC Detroit

Editorial Writing
FIRST
C.J. Carnacchio
The Oxford Leader
Vote your conscience on NOTA
Judges’ comments: Advocating for a tax hike is rarely popular, but the paper
makes a sound case here for the need of public transit. Clear, concise writing. Good
work.
HONORABLE MENTION
Robert Sklar
Detroit Jewish News
'Repurposed JPM Shows Value In Working Together'
Explanatory Story
FIRST
Kurt Kuban
Hour Detroit
Reclaiming the Rouge
Judges’ comments: Well told story of cleaning up the Rouge, giving the reader a
good look of the challenges involved.
SECOND
Monica Mercer
Hour Detroit/Health Guide
City of Vision, Health Guide, Spring issue
THIRD
Aaron Foley
Metro Parent/BLAC Detroit
Detroit, Come In! We're (Now) Open
Feature Page Design, newspapers only
FIRST
Michelle Sheridan
Detroit Jewish News
Sheridan, Feature Page Design, 'Hail to the Victor'
Judges’ comments: Great photos, nice use of cutouts (though the text wrap on
column one get a little iffy) -- and as always with the JN, very clean typography.
SECOND
Jessica Jordan
Ebola photo story

Plastics News

THIRD
Jason Clancy, Brian Louwers
West Bloomfield Beacon: V-E Day

C & G Newspapers

Feature Photography
FIRST
Deborah Boeger-Jacques
C & G Newspapers
National Day of Prayer/Warren, Michigan
Judges’ comments: Fantastic image from the prayer service. The clean layering
of subjects, their posture and the flags in the background all make for a standout
image. This one has it all.
23

SECOND
Josh Scott
Hour Detroit
The House of Truth
Judges’ comments: In-your-face gritty wrestling action. Lots of emotion earned a
second place spot for this image.
THIRD
Roy Ritchie
Hour Detroit
Legendary Favorites (Best of Detroit) June
Judges’ comments: Beautiful concept and execution of Little Red Riding Hood in
the forest. Great lighting, mood and toning. Well done.
HONORABLE MENTION
Cybelle Codish
Hour Detroit
Authentic Aristry
Judges’ comments: Nice, clean portrait. Loved the sepia toning!
HONORABLE MENTION
Deborah Boeger-Jacques
C & G Newspapers
So Close
Judges’ comments: Really liked the horizontal image of this set. Vivid color and
the quirky curved angles made for a fun image.
Feature Story
FIRST
Jeff Waraniak
Hour Detroit
Oneita the Magnificent
Judges’ comments: This was an absolutely engaging story. You immediately get
a sense of who Oneita is, in all of her raw, natural glory. The reader is immediately
drawn into the story and can almost hear Oneita's sassy voice as the writer takes
you on a First-person journey in, of all places, a taxi cab. The story was compelling,
funny and touching, all at the same time. Kudos on a job very well done.
SECOND
Steve Wilke, Dorothy L. Hernandez, Jeff Waraniak, Casey Nesterowich
Hour
Detroit
A Long Day's Coney Into Night
Judges’ comments: This is a great example of how "a day in the life" journalism
can bring about rich, touching stories and make the everyday story shine. This
restaurant institution is seeped in local history and has a cast of bright characters,
from the people who stop in for lunch, to the ones stirring the vats of chili in the
kitchen. The design presentation on this story was also fantastic and made it
engaging to read.
THIRD
Emell Derra Adolphus
Metro Parent/BLAC Detroit
The Fight for Equality
Judges’ comments:
This story was compelling, well written and full of life.
Looking back on Detroit's history and using that as a lens to focus on current social
unrest made this story particularly well done.
HONORABLE MENTION
Scott Atkinson
Hour Detroit
Inside the House of Truth
24

HONORABLE MENTION
Jeff Waraniak
Life in the Cadaver Lab

Hour Detroit

General Column
FIRST
Desiree Cooper
Metro Parent/BLAC Detroit
Detroit Proper
Judges’ comments: Interesting topics and a clear voice allow Ms. Cooper to lead
her audience through her well-paced editorials. Excellent work.
SECOND
Ben Falik
Detroit Jewish News
Judges’ comments: Mr. Falik's unique style allows the reader to follow him easily.
Lovely writing.
THIRD
Harry Kirsbaum
Detroit Jewish News
Judges’ comments: Unmistakeable voice. Good work!
HONORABLE MENTION
Don Loepp
Plastics News
General News
FIRST
Jessica Strachan
Digital First Media - The News-Herald
Michigan's foster kids - who they are and what they need
Judges’ comments: Compelling story on a little-explored topic.
SECOND
Ashley Sword
The News-Herald
Downriver residents speak out about rising drug abuse, hopes of ending stigma
THIRD
Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Newspapers
ACLU responds to ‘no minors alone’ policy
Headline Writing
FIRST
Dorothy L. Hernandez
Hour Detroit
Judges’ comments: An excellent series of "hammer" style headlines that play
well with the surrounding design. A story on the food adventure of baking with
crickets (yes, cricket muffins!) bears the following: "Making the leap: Are crickets
the new bacon?"
SECOND
David Sachs
THIRD
K. Michelle Moran

Detroit Jewish News
C & G Newspapers
25

Inside News Page Design, newspapers only
FIRST
Michelle Sheridan
Detroit Jewish News
Sheridan, Inside News Design, 'The Sick Man'
Judges’ comments: This is a very nice spread. The photos (both the scanograms
and the portrait of the artist) are well-displayed and the typography is clean.
Investigative Reporting
FIRST
Emell Derra Adolphus
Metro Parent/BLAC Detroit
The Invisible Girls
Judges’ comments: Compelling start to the story and nice use of experts to
explain these issues
SECOND
Jackie Harrison-Martin
John Guthrie series

The News-Herald

Localization of a National Story
FIRST
Steve Wilke, Dorothy L. Hernandez, Casey Nesterowich
Hour Detroit
Farm to Table: Delivering the Goods (Going Whole Hog, Chef's Choice, and Bigger
Fish to Fry
Judges’ comments: Great featuring writing that is as visual as the photographs
that accompany each story. "Bigger Fish to Fry" was the strongest in terms of
localizing a story while not forgetting to include the national context. Nice variety in
stories and great local sources.
SECOND
Jessica Strachan
The News-Herald
Same-sex marriage ruling 'couldn't come at a better time' for Allen Park couple
THIRD
C.J. Carnacchio
The Oxford Leader
Oxford shows its solidarity with Paris following attacks
Magazine Spread Design
FIRST
Valerie Morgan, Joe Vaughn, Kosta Finnllow
Hour Detroit
Elements of Surprise, March 2015 Restaurant of the Year
Judges’ comments: The black background and white script allow the colorful
ingredients to leap off the page. Stunning.
SECOND
Veronica Soderlund, Josh Scott
Hour Detroit
Inside the House of Truth, November 2015 Hour
THIRD
Valerie Morgan, Marvin Shaouni

Hour Detroit
26

A Leauge of Extraordinary Gentlemen, March 2015 Hour
HONORABLE MENTION
Veronica Soderlund
Reclaiming the Rouge

Hour Detroit

HONORABLE MENTION
Kelly Buren, Lauren Jeziorski, Marina Csomor, Jose Zamudio
Parent/BLAC Detroit
The Invisible Girls

Metro

News Photography
FIRST
Jessica Strachan
Honoring Emma
Judges’ comments:

Digital First Media - The News-Herald
Striking and touching photo

Page One Design, newspapers only
FIRST
Michelle Sheridan
Detroit Jewish News
'Wow!'
Judges’ comments: The pop art illo is well-done and manages to call out from
among the sea of promos and ads.
Personality Profile
FIRST
Ronelle Grier
Detroit Jewish News
Rachel Jacobs Obituary
Judges’ comments: This is a thoughtful, sensitive profile on a remarkable woman
taken from the world too soon. From the quotes and background information,
readers truly get a sense of who this woman was. In particular, the section on
meeting her husband was touching--filled with the human anecdotes that bring
people to tears. Great story.
SECOND
Dave Herndon
The News-Herald
Rhino celebrates 20th ‘wrestleversary’ with VFW fundraiser
THIRD
K. Michelle Moran
C & G Newspapers
Longtime mayor drove improvements in Park
HONORABLE MENTION
Ronelle Grier
Detroit Jewish News
Mogul and Mentsh
Sports Photography, newspapers only
FIRST
Amber Ainsworth

University of Michigan-Dearborn
27

De'veon's Drive
Judges’ comments: Clean image, and tack sharp, but it's missing a lot of
context. Switch to your 70-200 to show reaction from other players, the football,
etc.
Sports Reporting
FIRST
Jeff Waraniak
Hour Detroit
In Was a Very Good Year, Hour Detroit, April
Judges’ comments: This was an important story about reviving a tradition. It
was an out-of-the box story that would capture fans' attention. Good details and
history.
Spot or Breaking News
FIRST
K. Michelle Moran
C & G Newspapers
Fire destroys two popular Grosse Pointe Park businesses
Judges’ comments: The reporter did a good job getting comprehensive
community reaction about an established and a new business in this city. It was
more than just the basic fire story.
SECOND
Nick Mordowanec
C & G Newspapers
Clinton Township man receives probation in manslaughter case
THIRD
Frank Esposito, Don Loepp
Plastics News
Dow, DuPont strike 'merger of equals'

28

Print Class D
Cover Design
FIRST
Margaret Geralyn Kelly
City of Ann Arbor
Wastewatcher
Judges’ comments: Clean and simple go a long way, and this cover is just that.
Good use of white space, good use of color, clean typography.
SECOND
Michelle Franzen Martin, Lee Ann Gusmano, Bill Costello, Rebecca Wall
University Liggett School
Perspective
THIRD
Michelle Franzen Martin, Lee Ann Gusmano, Bill Costello, Rebecca Wall
University Liggett School
Perspective
Feature Design
FIRST
Michelle Franzen Martin, Bill Costello, Lee Ann Gusmano, Rebecca Wall
University Liggett School
Discovering Their Passions
Judges’ comments: Clean design. Nice transitions of typography. Good photo
display. Strong use of color.
SECOND
Julie Pincus
Kresge Foundation
Inspiration: Modernism
Feature Story
FIRST
Julie Halpert
Freelance
Getting Schooled
Judges’ comments: Profile is thorough and full of interesting quotes. Well done.
SECOND
Sue Levytsky
Transcendent Vision

Kresge Foundation

THIRD
Michelle Franzen Martin
Discovering Their Passions

University Liggett School

29

Photo
FIRST
Lon Horwedel
Kresge Foundation
Arise Detroit Neighborhood Day - Gratiot Splash
Judges’ comments: Kid-in-inflatable photos are just fun, and it was captured
very well with great light and dynamic action.
Use of Photos, Graphics
FIRST
Michelle Franzen Martin, David Dalton, Lee Ann Gusmano, Rebecca Wall
University Liggett School
Perspective Photography
Judges’ comments: Beautiful photos that were used exceptionally well. Great
page design and the composition of the photos work perfectly as graphic elements
to anchor the page and raise the bar for the category.
SECOND
Julie Pincus
Kresge Foundation
The Fabric of Her Life: A Timeline
Judges’ comments: Very clean page design and I like the timeline effect.

30