Staff and wire report
The Vindicator’s ongoing fight for access to records in the Oakhill Renaissance Place criminal-conspiracy case earned one of Ohio’s top journalism honors.
The Associated Press Society of Ohio honored The Vindicator on Sunday with 15 awards for the quality of its coverage and its commitment to First Amendment freedoms.
The Vindicator received the honors in the annual statewide newspaper competition for its writing, photography and other coverage in 2010.
The Vindicator beat out all competitors in all size divisions in the state in winning the prestigious First Amendment award for its ongoing coverage of the Oakhill Renaissance Place criminal-conspiracy case.
“The First Amendment honor is one of the finest our peers can extend, and we’re grateful for the recognition,” Vindicator Editor Todd Franko said.
“Pursuit of the Oak hill records is just an example of our extensive efforts to shine light where some officials would rather we not. We don’t always make ourselves popular; but we make ourselves vital to the lives of our readers,” Franko added.
Receiving first-place awards were:
Robert K. Yosay, chief photographer, for best photographer, best general news photo and best online photojournalist. Yosay also took second place for best sports photo.
Ed Runyan, reporter, for best news writer.
Joe Scalzo, sports writer, for best sports writer.
Dennis Mangan, editorial page editor, for best editorial writer.
Among Vindicator staff members winning second-place awards were Bill Lewis for best online photojournalist and Ashley Luthern, reporter, for best community service and for best breaking news.
Third-place awards handed out to Vindicator staff members include former reporter Grace Wyler for best business reporter, Geoff Hauschild for best photo essay, the sports staff for best sports section, and a group of reporters for best community service.
Franko was pleased with the results.
“Amid some pretty tough economic conditions, we have many people at The Vindicator dedicated to serving the Valley. These awards are tributes to the efforts of a portion of that team,” he said.
Sixty-eight daily newspapers submitted 3,087 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2010.
The Vindicator competed in Division IV, comprising newspapers with circulations of 25,000 to 75,000. The division was judged by staff of the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail.
The Associated Press is a nonprofit news cooperative representing 1,500 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States. Members of AP include 88 daily newspapers in Ohio.
Also on Sunday, Laura Kessel, managing editor of The (Willoughby) News-Herald, was elected president of the Associated Press Society of Ohio for 2011-12 at the group’s annual convention Sunday.