Minnesota Sampler

Each month, SPJ’s Minnesota Sampler highlights a work of journalism from around the state.  Below, read about the February installment and view the story:

After recent reports raised questions about the overlapping roles of a state lawmaker, including his directorship of a foundation that provided scholarships for his children, Brianna Bierschbach at MinnPost decided to take a closer look at Minnesota’s complex conflict-of-interest reporting requirements.

Here is Bierschbach’s story: MinnPost

Making a Murderer: The Journalists who covered Steven Avery

Join the Minnesota SPJ Chapter for a conversation with reporters who covered the case of Steven Avery, the Wisconsin man whose exoneration of sexual assault, release from prison and subsequent murder conviction were chronicled in the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer.”

When: 6:30 p.m., Feb. 29.

Where: Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Cost: Free for SPJ members, $5 for non-members.

The panelists:

Tom Kertscher is a PolitiFact Wisconsin reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  He has covered the Steven Avery case since breaking the story in 2003 that new DNA evidence would exonerate Avery of a sexual assault after 18 years in prison.  Kertscher, who has more than 30 years of reporting experience, also covered Avery’s 2007 murder trial.

Find Kertscher’s coverage of the Avery case here and his reflections on the case here.

As a reporter for WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Jay Olstad interviewed Avery several times and covered his exoneration and release from prison in 2003, as well as family and community reaction during Avery’s murder trial in 2007.  He is a reporter at KARE-TV.

Jessica Olstad worked at WLUK-TV’s Fox Valley bureau from 2005 to 2007, when she went by the name Lauren Cook.  She was one of the lead reporters who covered the Avery and Dassey cases and trials.  Her interview with Ken Peterson, outgoing Manitowoc County Sheriff at the time of Halbach’s murder, was featured in “Making a Murderer.”  She is now an account director at Kohnstamm Communications.

Jay and Jessica Olstad discuss their experience covering the case here.

PAGE ONE AWARDS DEADLINE: FRIDAY 2/26!

The Minnesota Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (MN SPJ) recognizes the best in Minnesota journalism each year with its annual Page One Awards. SPJ_Vertical_Web

Journalists working for all print, broadcast and online news outlets in Minnesota (or news outlets in neighboring states that cover Minnesota) are eligible to enter. All work published or broadcast during the 2015 calendar year is eligible. Entries must be submitted by Friday, February 26. The fee is $20 per entry.

Contest winners will be honored at MN SPJ’s Page One Banquet, an annual spring event celebrating excellence in Minnesota journalism. The date and location for the banquet will be announced later.

Important Links:

Please contact MN SPJ with any questionsminnesota.spj@gmail.com

2016 PAGE ONE AWARDS: CONTEST GUIDELINES

GENERAL GUIDELINES

  • The fee is $20 per entry.
  • Entries must be submitted no later than Friday, February 26, 2016.
  • All work published or broadcast during the 2015 calendar year is eligible.
  • Journalists (including freelancers and contract employees) working for all print, broadcast and online news outlets in Minnesota (or news outlets in neighboring states that cover Minnesota) are eligible to enter.
  • An individual may submit only one entry per category. Exceptions: 1) if a second entry is a multiple-byline entry; or 2) if it is submitted by his/her employer because they could not agree on a single entry.
  • Entries will be judged by journalism professionals outside Minnesota.
  • Judges may move an entry from one category to another.
  • Up to three winners may be chosen for each category. Judges may choose not to name a winner in any category.
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • Awards Presentation: Winners will be announced in the spring of 2016 and honored during MN SPJ’s annual Page One Awards Banquet. Date and location, TBD.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

  • NEWSPAPER, ONLINE & PHOTOGRAPHY ENTRIES must be submitted online.
  • FOR PRINT ENTRIES (Newspaper and Magazine): Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible.
  • FOR NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINE “BEST ISSUE” CATEGORIES: entries may be submitted by mail. TWO COPIES of each issue must be submitted in an 8 1/2-by-11-inch folder or envelope. Please write category name on outside of folder.
  • FOR GRAPHICS/PHOTOGRAPHY CATEGORIES: Entrants should submit a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the art appeared, or a link to the art published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.
  • FOR TV ENTRIES: Entrants should submit a URL where video can be viewed (preferred) or entries may be submitted on a DVD (please include TWO COPIES).
  • FOR RADIO ENTRIES: Entrants should submit a link to the work online (preferred) or entries may be submitted by mail on a CD (please include TWO COPIES).

CLICK HERE to access the contest submission form

2016 PAGE ONE AWARDS: CONTEST CATEGORIES

1. NEWSPAPER

a. Spot News (One or more stories covering a single spot news event)

b. Feature (A single feature story)

c. Enterprise/In-Depth (One or more stories on a single topic or news event that reflects reporter’s ingenuity, use of sources or special research that help the reader understand a situation beyond information provided in a typical news story)

d. Investigative (One or more stories a single topic or news event containing information not readily available to the news media or public and obtained through reporter initiative)

e. Business Story (A single news story or feature focusing on business-related news)

f. Sports Story (A single news story or feature focusing on sports-related news)

g. Arts & Entertainment Story (A single news story or feature focusing on arts & entertainment-related news)

h. Column (A single column written for any section including but not limited to general interest, business or sports)

i. Editorial (A single editorial)

j. Graphics/Art and illustration (Original artwork, graphs, diagrams, maps or other visual elements that illustrate a story)

k. Page Design (A single page design: taking into account layout and page composition, use of headlines, art, graphics etc.)

l. Headlines (A collection of up to three (3) headlines, submitted along with the accompanying stories)

m. Best issue (Based on reporting, writing, photography, graphics/illustration, layout, copyhandling, etc.)

2. MAGAZINE

a. Best Profile Story (A single profile story)

b. Best Feature Story (A single feature story)

c. Best Department (A magazine component appearing under the same heading and possibly, but not always, written by different writers); send 3 unique examples

d. Best Column (A magazine component appearing under the same heading and always written by the same author); send 3 unique examples

e. Best Cover (A single magazine cover)

f. Best Page Design (A full story or feature layout, single page, two-page or double-truck design)

g. Graphics/Art and illustration (Original artwork, graphs, diagrams, maps or other visual elements that illustrate a story)

h. Best issue (Based on writing, photography, graphics/illustration, layout)

3. TELEVISION

a. Spot/Breaking news (coverage of an unscheduled event broadcast within 24 hours; may be a single story or compilation of coverage on a single event)

b. Hard News report (best coverage of a news-related topic; may include in-depth, planned coverage of a single event, or enterprise reporting)

c. Feature (single story done for some other factor than timeliness–may include profile, human interest, or trend stories)

d. Special Project/In-Depth series (a single report or series of reports going in-depth on a particular subject, helping the viewer understand a situation beyond information in a typical news story)

e. Investigative (One or more stories containing information not readily available to the news media or public and obtained through reporter initiative)

f. Newscast (One regularly-scheduled newscast airing on any day in the contest year. The entry should represent the station’s best work in news content, execution, and overall presentation)

4. RADIO

a. Spot/Breaking news (coverage of an unscheduled event broadcast within 24 hours; may be a single story or compilation of coverage on a single event)

b. Hard News report (best coverage of a news-related topic; may include in-depth, planned coverage of a single event, or enterprise reporting)

c. Feature (single story done for some other factor than timeliness–may include profile, human interest, or trend stories)

d. Special Project/In-Depth series (a single report or series of reports going in-depth on a particular subject, helping the viewer understand a situation beyond information in a typical news story)

e. Investigative (One or more stories containing information not readily available to the news media or public and obtained through reporter initiative)

f. Newscast (One regularly-scheduled newscast airing on any day in the contest year. The entry should represent the station’s best work in news content, execution, and overall presentation)

5. ONLINE

a. Best Website (Best use of a website for providing news to an online audience. Judges will look at areas such as ease of navigation, creative design concepts, good organization and degree to which online resources enhance reporting.)

b. Best single news story (Best online coverage of a single news story or event)

c. Best continuing coverage (Two or more online reports demonstrating ongoing coverage of a news event; including original or web-only content)

d. Arts & Entertainment. (Single arts and entertainment-themed feature)

e. Best use of multimedia (Demonstrates outstanding use of photos, galleries, video, and/or audio to enhance original story)

f. Best social media account – Individual (For a social media account on any platform run by one journalist that best demonstrates an understanding of audience, an appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of the platform, while showing a commitment to innovation and an adherence to SPJ’s Code of Ethics)

g. Best social media account – Institutional (For a social media account run by multiple journalists that best demonstrates an understanding of audience, an appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of the platform, while showing a commitment to innovation and an adherence to SPJ’s Code of Ethics)

h. Best news video (Single video, or series of videos on the same subject, produced to appear online-only)

i. Best newsroom blog (submit URL for blog, judged on overall excellence in news coverage, affiliated with a newspaper, magazine, TV or radio station)

j. Best independent news blog (submit URL for blog, judged on overall excellence in news coverage, not affiliated with a newspaper, magazine, TV or radio station)

6. PHOTOGRAPHY

a. Best News Photography (Best use of photography in news stories. Submit a collection of up to three (3) news photos.)

b. Best Feature Photography (Best use of photography in feature stories. Submit a collection of up to three (3) feature photos.)

c. Best Portrait Photography (Best use of portrait photography. Submit a collection of up to three (3) portrait photos.)

d. Best Sports Photography (Best use of photography in sports stories. Submit a collection of up to three (3) sports photos.)

7. SPECIAL AWARDS

a. Young Journalist of the Year (Award given to outstanding journalist in any medium with less than 10 years experience; submit three examples of work and letter of nomination)

b. Journalist of the Year (Award given to outstanding journalist in any medium with 10 or more years of experience; submit three examples of work and letter of nomination)

c. Story of the Year (Award for general excellence in any medium, covering a single story or news event submit up to three examples of work and letter of nomination)

d. Best Use of Public Records (Award for excellence in any medium covering a single story or news event where use of public records played a role in getting and telling the story; submit three examples of work and narrative letter explaining work and use of public records)

Entry Tiers

  • Newspaper [50,000+ circulation]
  • Newspaper [LESS than 50,000 circulation]
  • Magazine
  • Television [50+ newsroom employees]
  • Television [LESS than 50 newsroom employees]
  • Radio
  • Online
  • Photography [All photo entries will be judged against each other regardless of publication size]

CLICK HERE to access the contest submission form

Minnesota Sampler

Each month, SPJ plans to highlight a work of journalism from across the state in a segment we are calling the Minnesota Sampler.  Below, read about the January installment and view the story:

The West Central Tribune, located in Willmar in the heart of Minnesota’s turkey growing sector, extensively covered last year’s avian influenza outbreak that devastated the state’s turkey flocks.  Earlier this month, reporter Tom Cherveny looked ahead to this year’s growing season.  The takeaway: despite the havoc wreaked by the outbreak, turkey growers are cautiously optimistic.

Here is Cherveny’s story, which includes a link to a sidebar: West Central Tribune