2019 Page One Awards – Special Award Winners

MNSPJ congratulates all the winners recognized Tuesday night at the annual Page One Awards!  Here’s a list of winners in special award categories.


Best Use of Public Records


“Denied Justice.”

Brandon Stahl, Jennifer Bjorhus, MaryJo Webster and Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

The judge said: “This series is a testament to the perseverance, patience, tenacity and time spent by this reporting team in uncovering a pattern of injustice buried in thousands of public records. The hard-fought battle to obtain police reports and datasets resulted in stories that gave victims a voice and brought long-overdue change to a broken system.”



“Double Billing the Badge”

A.J. Lagoe, Steve Eckert and Gary Knox, KARE 11


Best Beat Reporting

First Place

Coverage of the sexual harassment allegations against Garrison Keillor

Neal Justin and Jeff Meitrodt, Star Tribune

The judge said: “The reporting was solid and comprehensive. Like many stories that have come to light in the wake of the #MeToo movement, this one exists in the complicated world of workplace relationships, politics and profit. These stories brought all that to light.”


Second Place

A.J. Lagoe, KARE 11


Third Place

Andy Mannix, Star Tribune


Freedom of Information Award


Coverage of the Roosevelt City Council

Doris Knutson and Julie Nordine Bergman, Northern Light Region

The judge said: “Good job on this. Well written and very clear about what happened–brought the reader to the event.”



Tess Williams, Grand Forks Herald


Young Journalist of the Year

Evan Frost, MPR News

The judge said: “I can tell, based on the letter of recommendation and Frost’s work examples, that he is someone who goes beyond what it means to be a young journalist. His work shows a level of excellence, commitment, and professionalism that far exceeds those who may be more seasoned in this field.”


Journalist of the Year


Dave Hage, Star Tribune.

The judge said: “Because they toil “behind the scenes,” editors are largely un-bylined and therefore often are overlooked in awards contests. Their job descriptions are broad: manage stories from conception to final edit; facilitate collaboration among departments, mentor reporters; administer budgets; ensure adequate staffing, and respond to disgruntled readers, all while walking with one foot in the newsroom and the other in the publisher’s office. Frequently taken for granted, they put in long hours to verify, improve and present the best content possible, on budget and on deadline. His nomination letter states that “he deflects attention and credit toward the (bylined) journalists.” It’s time to put the spotlight on Dave Hage.”



Matt Sepic, MPR News


Story of the Year


“Denied Justice.”

Brandon Stahl, Jennifer Bjorhus, MaryJo Webster and Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

The judge called this entry “a detailed and powerful examination of a critical flaw in our legal system. The testimonies of these women–along with information gleaned from public records and interviews with law enforcement and related experts–shine a crucial light on a subject often shrouded in darkness and secrecy in our society. Handled with great respect for the victims, the fact that this series spurred follow-up action on cold cases is a testament to the perseverance and dedication of this reporting team.”



Coverage of the Hiawatha homeless encampment

Chris Serres and David Joles, Star Tribune