MPR reporter, Star Tribune staff among top 2017 Page One Award winners

Journalists from across the state were honored Thursday evening at the 2017 Minnesota SPJ Page One Awards.

Laura Yuen, a reporter for MPR News, took home Journalist of the Year honors while Andy Mannix, a reporter for the Star Tribune, was named Young Journalist of the Year.  The staff of the Star Tribune received the Story of the Year award for its coverage of music icon Prince’s death.

Hannah Allam of BuzzFeed News gave the keynote address

Meanwhile, Tony Webster, a public records researcher and data activist, received the 2017 Peter S. Popovich Award, which is given to a person or organization that exemplifies the fight for First Amendment rights.

The Page One Awards recognize the best in Minnesota journalism.  More than 130 journalists working in print, TV, radio and online attended the event, which was held at the Town & Country Club in St. Paul.  The entries for this year’s awards were judged by members of the San Diego pro chapter of SPJ.

Hannah Allam, a former Pioneer Press reporter who covers U.S. Muslim life for BuzzFeed News, gave the keynote address.  Allam called for a deeper and more nuanced coverage of Muslims, noting that many find themselves caught in the middle, “defending their faith from barbarism at one end and bigots at the other.”  To the journalists in the room who may cover issues related to Islam, she said: “I hope we focus on the facts — not the hysteria or alarm-ism.”

Minnesota SPJ also announced the winner of a $2,500 scholarship — Madeline DeBilzan, who recently completed her freshman year at Bethel University, where she is studying journalism and business.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Tom Weber of MPR News.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the oldest and largest organization of journalists in the U.S., was founded as Sigma Delta Chi in 1909.  The Minnesota Chapter, which has about 100 members, was founded in 1956.

If you would like to order duplicate awards or have any awards-related questions, please contact Minnesota SPJ at

The full program, with the complete winner’s list, can be viewed here.