July 3, 2018
Shaw Media journalists won almost 150 awards in the Illinois Press Association's annual news contest for work done in 2017, with several of the company's reporters, photographers, page designers and editors taking top honors for their work.
Shaw Media always has a strong showing in the annual contest, in which their work is evaluated by judges against those of other newspapers of similar size and frequency statewide.
This year, the company's large weekly papers dominated the contest in Division C. The Kane County Chronicle, serving the Tri-Cities of Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles, won the Will Loomis Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to Illinois' best large weekly paper.
The Suburban Life newspapers took first place in general excellence among large weeklies, and as a whole Shaw publications won more than half of all the awards given in Division C, with the MidWeek, Valley Life, and Oswego Ledger staffs each earning recognition as well.
Shaw's photojournalists also distinguished themselves in the annual contest. Among the first-place winners, photographers Mark Busch (Division C first-place wins for photo series, general news photo and feature photo) and Matt Apgar (Division D wins for photo series, spot news, and general news) led the way. Photographers Candace Johnson (Lake County Journal) Sandy Bressner (Kane County Chronicle) and Eric Ginnard (Joliet Herald-News) also took first-place awards.
Columnists including Joe Hosey (Joliet), and sports editors Eddie Carifio (DeKalb) And J.T. Pedelty (Ottawa) snagged top honors for sports column writing.
Page designers Jes Spivak and Jui Sadekar shared a first-place award for page design for Lake County Journal, the Suburban Life took first place in Division C for newspaper design, and copy editor Jim Wilson won a first-place award for headline writing.
For reporting, Daily Chronicle Editor Christopher Heimerman won a first-place award for public service journalism, Record Newspapers' News Editor Tony Scott took first for single-story news reporting, and Martha Quetsch's work for the Kane County Chronicle won a first-place award for best school board coverage.
The Kane County Chronicle also won best sports section, while Suburban Life Media won for best special section for its 2017 prep football preview section, “Touchdown 2017.”
The Northwest Herald - which took first place in two individual categories - finished as the runner-up for the Mabel S. Shaw Trophy, given to the top paper in Division E, the second-largest category of newspapers in the state. The Daily Chronicle was runner-up for the Patrick Coburn Award of Excellence in Division D.
The press association contest is held annually with entries in six categories judged by journalists from other states.