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WDET Takes Home 24 Awards From the Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter

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.

RADIO

Spot or Breaking News

1st: In the Wake of Tragedy, Detroit’s Newest Police Officers Look Ahead

Eli Newman

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

Quinn Klinefelter

General News

1st: Must Detroit Shrink To Survive?

Quinn Klinefelter

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.

2nd: Flint Residents Still Paying For Switch To Contaminated River Water

Quinn Klinefelter

3rd: Crossing The Lines - Windsor

WDET News Team

Feature Story

1st: A Visit In Prison

Laura Herberg

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

Quinn Klinefelter

Honorable Mention: Helping Highland Parkers Help Themselves

Laura Herberg

Sports Reporting

1st: Indy 500 Races to Remain Relevant at Century Mark

Quinn Klinefelter

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.

2nd: Penske Takes Lead on Race Track and Public Projects

Quinn Klinefelter

Newscast

1st: 5 am newscast 050216

Pat Batcheller

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

Pat Batcheller

3rd: 5:44 pm newscast 020316

Jermone Vaughn

News Special/Documentary

1st: Created Equal Special

Laura Weber-Davis, Stephen Henderson

2nd: Election 2016 Special

WDET News Team

News Editing

1st: People On The Ground Volunteering For Presidential Campaigns In Metro Detroit

Eli Newman

2nd: CuriosiD: What’s Up With All These Pheasants?

Shelby Jouppi

3rd: Why Does A Private Company Own A Major US Border Crossing?

Quinn Klinefelter

ONLINE

General News

Honorable Mention: Grand Bargain: Early Payments Shift Investment Burden To Pension Funds

Sandra Svoboda

Feature Story

2nd: How Detroit Parents Pick Schools

Laura Herberg

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

Sandra Svoboda

Digital Media Presentation

2nd: CuriosiD: Who Chooses Detroit’s “Tax-Free” Renaissance Zones?

Shelby Jouppi

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!

3rd: Detroit By The Numbers: Dollars For Duggan

Sandra Svoboda

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

Sandra Svoboda

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.

Image credit: SPJ Detroit

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