The member stations of CoastAlaska took 20 awards at the annual meeting of the Alaska Press Club this year — 8 of them by KCAW Raven Radio!
Radio – 4 firsts, 1 second, 1 third (KCAW)
KCAW’s Emily Kwong led all CoastAlaska reporters with first place wins in four radio categories. Are you ready to Rock? ‘Dark Horse’ caucuses in Sitka is Kwong’s Best Profile of fringe presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente. Kwong took Best Single Story reporting for her local follow-up to the Pulse Nightclub shooting, In a month of pride, life after Orlando. Kwong’s first-place for Best Political Reporting was the result of her taking to the streets to interview gun owners and opponents alike in Don Young visit sparks protests. And finally, Kwong gave us Best Culture Reporting on the world of Native fashion with her Designers on cutting edge of Native fashion.
Former KCAW post-graduate fellow Brielle Schaeffer also was recognized for her work in radio. Schaeffer took second place in Best Health Reporting for her two-part series on recovering from drug addiction Some must leave home to get help. Schaeffer took third place in Best Arts Reporting for Cabaret empowers, supports women.
Print – 1 first, 2 seconds (Sentinel)
After completing her fellowship at KCAW, Schaeffer went to the Daily Sitka Sentinel, where she has become one of the few Alaska reporters to win in two media. In the print division, Schaeffer took first place in Best Education Reporting for her piece “Sitkan sees second grade from both sides.” Schaeffer’s colleagues Shannon Haugland and Tom Hesse took second place in the same category for an investigation of ANSEP’s plan to absorb Mt. Edgecumbe High School called “MEHS Plan catches officials by surprise.” Haugland and Hesse combined again to take second place in Best Reporting on Crime or Courts for their “No word yet from FBI in taser probe,” a follow-up story in the ongoing examination of the conduct of Sitka police after a $350,000 settlement with a Mt. Edgecumbe student who was tasered while in custody.
All media – 1 second and 1 third (Sentinel), 2 thirds (KCAW)
The All Media category is most often the turf of Alaska’s major newspapers and television stations. Nevertheless, both KCAW and the Sentinel crashed the party this year. Sentinel photographer James Poulson took second place in Best Portrait for his image of marijuana farmer Michah Miller, and third place in Best Feature Photo for his image “The Proposal.” KCAW’s Notes from the Landslide: One year later, a five-part series by Robert Woolsey and Emily Kwong, took third place in Best Comprehensive Coverage. And Woolsey startled (and perhaps alarmed!) the state’s major press by taking third place in Best Headline Writing, ‘Olfactory’ smells like victory at Blatchley bee.
And finally, KCAW’s current post-graduate fellow Emily Russell was honored in All Media for her efforts to connect with listeners off-air in her previous job at KNOM. Russell and fellow volunteers in Nome won first place in Best Blog. You can check it out here. The contest judge wrote: “Excellent food/lifestyle blog. More than just a foodie blog, more like recipes for life (with cooking). Send leftovers!”