KUAR 89.1, Arkansas Public Media Win Fourteen SPJ Diamond Awards

Nov 19, 2017

Top Row: Sarah Whites-Koditschek, Karen Tricot Steward, Ann Kenda, and Jacob Kauffman; Middle: Jacqueline Froelich; Bottom Row: Chris Hickey, Darcy Hagood, Bobby Ampezzan, and Michael Hibblen

KUAR 89.1 and Arkansas Public Media won fourteen Diamond Journalism Awards, a regional competition sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. This year’s competition was judged by journalists from the Florida Pro Chapter of SPJ.

 Jacob Kauffman, KUAR reporter and anchor, won first place in the documentary/investigative reporting category for his coverage of executions in Arkansas. He also earned second place in the Outstanding New Journalist competition and for his photo slideshow, "Women’s March in Little Rock."

Bobby Ampezzan, the managing editor of Arkansas Public Media, won first place in the hard news category for his story, "Bundle of Bills Highlight How Tricky, Fragile Are Freedom of Information Laws."

Also in the hard news category, Jacqueline Froelich of Arkansas Public Media won second place for "Arkansas, Oklahoma Scientists Grapple With Industrial Earthquakes." Ann Kenda of Arkansas Public Media and KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves won third place for "White Nationalists Rally in Batesville Amid Fuller Complement of Police, Counter-Protesters."

Kauffman and Chris Hickey, a former KUAR reporter and anchor who is currently in graduate school in New York, received first place in sports reporting for "College Football Gets Arkansas to Change its New Gun Law."

Hickey also earned first and second place in feature reporting for his stories, "Research Explores Political Attitudes in Little Rock’s Religious," and "Dealing With Influx, Little Rock Mexican Consulate Expands Legal Services."

Other winners in the documentary/investigative category are Sarah Whites-Koditschek of Arkansas Public Media, who won second place for "Republican Arkansas Looks To Cut Its Once-Expanded Medicaid Rolls,” and Karen Tricot Steward of KUAR News, who won third place for an in-depth interview exploring execution drugs and concerns over double executions.

For her feature reporting, Froelich of Arkansas Public Media won a third place award for "University of Arkansas Hosts Open Nuke."

KUAR and Arkansas Public Media also won a third place Community Service award for joint coverage of the Arkansas executions. 

Outstanding Student Journalists

A UA Little Rock graduate student in the School of Mass Communication, Jackson Carter, received first place in the multimedia project category for his work, "Forgotten: An In-Depth Investigation into the Arkansas Foster Care System."

Darcy Hagood, a former KUAR intern, won second place in the feature category for her reporting, "Photography Exhibit Explores Arkansas Family’s Grief."