WDET took home 24 awards, including 7 first place honors, from the Society of Professional Journalists – Detroit Chapter for its work over the past year.
Spot or Breaking News
Judges’ comments: A narrow winner that takes the top spot because of the way the broadcaster handled breaking material. Breaking news can be difficult to deal with because of the lack of the fluid nature of initial information. Well done!
2nd: Gordie Howe Dies
Judges’ comments: Topical, well thought out piece that asks an intriguing question about the continued growth of Detroit. The overall piece is well written and utilizes sound properly balancing both sides of the argument, which allows to make their own decision over the future of their city.
3rd: Crossing The Lines - Windsor
WDET News Team
1st: A Visit In Prison
Judges’ comments: A Visit in Prison brings listeners right into the scene as if we are standing next to the reporter, observing the same things she is. The script and narration make the piece captivating, telling a full story about why this event is important and how incarceration impacts entire families. It offered a few surprise elements, and on-point interview quotes. The producer also did a fantastic job combining the music and background noises from the event, intertwining them with the interviews. Overall, the piece was moving with great details, and ended on a difficult note that likely has made listeners reflect on what they just heard long.
Honorable Mention: Detroit Boat Delivers Mail By The Pail
Honorable Mention: Helping Highland Parkers Help Themselves
Judges’ comments: Found this entry fun. The use of actual “nat sound” from the racetrack gave the piece a familiar feel and kept me listening. You could even feel the fun that the broadcaster was having with the piece.
1st: 5 am newscast 050216
Judges’ comments: A well rounded cast which keeps the listener tuned in.The broadcaster’s delivery was solid, steady, properly animated and with few flaws. A solid newscast which caught me and kept me…well done!
2nd: 8 am newscast 080316
3rd: 5:44 pm newscast 020316
Laura Weber-Davis, Stephen Henderson
WDET News Team
Honorable Mention: Grand Bargain: Early Payments Shift Investment Burden To Pension Funds
Judges’ comments: Main writer assisted by two others have done an excellent job with a wide variety of sources. Speaks to important issues with nice side-bars. The use of maps was impressive. Well presented and fine use of online advantages.
Best Localization of a National Story
Honorable Mention: From The White House To Your House
Digital Media Presentation
Judges’ comments: A reminder of how well-presented explainer stories are always useful. Love how the story was sparked by a seemingly basic question from a listener (and how that listener’s bio was also integrated into the report)as well as the well-produced audio and reader-friendly layout. Also love that the reporter didn’t shy away from asking about data that would speak to the tax-free zones success, only to find out that none exists. Great format!
Judges’ comments: Excellent use of graphics and the digital medium to tell a “follow-the-money” story that otherwise risked having readers’ eyes glaze over.
3rd-Tie: Motorless In The Motor City
Judges’ comments: A fun treatment of a classic “government” story that would have been boring without hoping on a bike and going on a tour. Great use of photos and interviews — vignettes are short and sweet; digital presentation is reader-friendly and clean. I’m sure the reporter had a grand time doing this story.