Author Archives: Compiled for GJR

St. Louis journalism awards

Awards and Honors

Andrew Fowler, formerly of St. Louis, won the highest graduate award from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, the 2016 Harrington Award, in the category of Videography/Broadcast. Fowler began his career interning at the St. Louis American while continuing his studies. As his graduate project, he shot a documentary in Chicago titled My Muthaland, following the journey of actress Minita Gandhi. He is currently an online lifestyle journalist with Insider in New York City. Find out more about Fowler’s work in the St. Louis American.

St. Louis Public Radio has received a national Edward R. Murrow Award for its website,, in the large market radio category. The award was announced last month by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). While SLPR has won multiple regional Murrow Awards in its history, this is its third national Murrow.


Metro columnist Tony Messenger received a Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, awarded by the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Ian Froeb, Gabe Hartwig and Josh Renaud won first place for digital innovation in the annual Society of Features Journalists awards. Daniel Neman took third place for specialty writing and Aisha Sultan received an honorable mention for commentary.


Bryce Gray has been hired as a business reporter, covering energy and the environment.

Jacob Barker, who formerly covered these topics, moves to the economic development beat. Gray formerly worked for the High Country News, a Colorado magazine.

Ashley Lisenby, who just finished a masters degree at the University of Illinois-Springfield, is joining metro as a digital-first breaking news reporter.

Mike Faulk, currently with the Yakima Herald-Republic in Washington, has been hired as a civic watchdog reporter.
Celeste Bott, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, is joining the Jefferson City bureau as a reporter.

Nicholas J. Pistor has resigned as City Hall reporter to work on his new book, Shooting Lincoln.

Is ‘Public Journalism’ answer to Trump? Did SJR topple Campbell?

Publisher’s note: Roy Peter Clark, senior fellow at Poynter, suggests this week that “public journalism” of the1990s might offer answers for covering Donald Trump.  He suggests the late Cole Campbell, editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1996-2000 and a leading advocate of public journalism, lost out to dismissive traditionalists and to a “crusade” from the St. Louis Journalism Review, GJR’s parent. Charles Klotzer, SJR founder, agrees the review, and especially contributor Don Corrigan, played a part.  Some former Post-Dispatch staffers suggest Campbell failed more because of personal leadership failings than a rejection of his philosophy. – WF


Can ‘public journalism’ reform campaign coverage?

from Poynter

At a time when America and American journalism seems befuddled by what constitutes effective campaign coverage – especially in the era of Bernie, Trump and Twitter – maybe retro is a place to look.

…We’ve been through this before, friends, and not so long ago. In 1988, journalists experienced waves of criticism, leading to defensiveness and self-flagellation, over the effectiveness of what is still derided as “horse-race coverage.”

That moment in time also happened to produce one of the most provocative reform movements in the history of American journalism. It had two common names: Public Journalism and Civic Journalism. The movement had leaders, professional (Buzz Merritt and Cole Campbell) and academic (Jay Rosen). It had experiments. It developed manifestos. It offered results. And it had many, many, shall I say, detractors.

Most of those non-believers were famous and influential editors. “All journalism is public,” they would say with a wave of the hand. The St. Louis Journalism Review made attacks upon public journalism and the late Cole Campbell, then editor of the Post-Dispatch, a crusade.

Suddenly, public journalism was gone, a tiny echo in a deep canyon, a whisper in the wind.


Echoes of Spiro Agnew: public journalists blame ‘elite’ press for attacks

Cole Campbell had a tragic flaw

The end of the line


St. Louis Public Radio wins national awards for Ferguson coverage

St. Louis Public Radio has won two national awards for its 2015 coverage of the events that followed the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. One is a new Peabody award and the other a Silver Gavel from the American Bar Association.

The station was the inaugural recipient of the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards for its project “One Year in Ferguson.” 

The award is a new and separate award from the traditional Peabodies and is given to the top five stories in digital spaces.  The team that worked on the digital projects included Kelsey Proud, digital innovations editor, Brent Jones, data visualization specialist, Stephanie Lecci, newscast producer and Bill Raack, editor.

The ABA Silver Gavel was awarded for contributor William H. Freivogel’s series of legal analyses on “Law, Justice and the Death of Michael Brown.”  The award announcement said the series showed “in-depth legal understanding to the highly charged aftermath of the shooting of an unarmed African–American teenager by a white Ferguson, Mo., police officer.”


Editor’s note: William H. Freivogel is publisher of the Gateway Journalism Review.  Margaret Wolf Freivogel, his wife, is the retired editor of St. Louis Public Radio. 

Post-Dispatch’s Bailon wins Editor of the Year Award

St. Louis Post-Dispatch editor Gilbert Bailon has won one of journalism’s top honors—the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award given by the National Press Foundation. The foundation is a national journalism training organization that recognizes a newspaper or magazine editor annually. The award was established in 1984 but has been given in Bradlee’s name only since 2006. Bradlee, the longtime Washington Post editor, died last October at 93.

In selecting Bailon, the judges said: “If ever a newspaper and its editor faced a real-time stress test, it was the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and editor Gilbert Bailon in 2014. From the shooting of Michael Brown in August through the November announcement by the grand jury, the Post-Dispatch was under pressure. But it delivered for its readers and the larger St. Louis community with a breadth of coverage that is truly impressive. Hundreds of stories, dozens of editorials, every piece of evidence – all were there either in print or on the paper’s website. Most striking were the photographs, often taken at great personal risk to the photographers. Throughout it all, Bailon was a strong presence both in the community and in his newsroom, fighting for access and striving to keep the coverage balanced and emotions in check.”

The award was given in Washington, D.C., last week at the foundation’s annual dinner. Typically, the winning newspaper presents a short video on the winner. The Post-Dispatch produced one, in which various editors sung Bailon’s praises.

In brief remarks after the award was given, Bailon credited the newspaper’s ownership for “giving us the resources and latitude to do great journalism under great stress” after the Brown shooting. He observed that he never had been involved in covering such a “volatile” story.

Bailon said that the Post-Dispatch’s journalists “are the heroes tonight.” He noted that some had been assaulted in covering the Ferguson shooting’s aftermath, including one who was chased out of a backyard at gunpoint. Many Post-Dispatch employees have been subject to racial taunts and threats to cancel subscriptions, he said.

The Ferguson episode “has reaffirmed our vital role to tell stories…and to hold public institutions accountable,” Bailon said.

Among other recent winners of the award are David Remnick of The New Yorker, Leonard Downie Jr., Bradlee’s successor at the Washington Post, and Gregory L. Moore of the Denver Post, who was cited for his newspaper’s coverage of the mass killing at a suburban Denver movie theater.

Michel Martin to discuss Ferguson coverage

“Ferguson and the media” will be the topic discussed at a Journalism Review event March 19 hosted by veteran broadcast journalist Michel Martin. Martin has reported for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and was host of NPR’s “Tell Me More.” She recently has reported on voting rights and racial justice issues.

The Thursday night dinner and program will be from 6 to 10 p.m. at Edward Jones Inc.’s corporate headquarters at 12555 Manchester Road and I-270. Cost is $150 per person. It will be the Fourth Annual First Amendment Celebration sponsored by the Gateway Journalism Review, successor to the St. Louis Journalism Review.

To attend, call Sherida Evans at 618-453-3262; or email Sherida @ USPS: Sherida Evans, Mailcode 6601, School of Journalism, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Il. 62901

Social media firestorm surrounding Daily Egyptian decision catches administrators by surprise

The social media firestorm that surrounded the decision by Southern Illinois University’s board of trustees to put off voting on a media fee for the 98-year-old Daily Egyptian newspaper caught university administrators by surprise.

DE alumni from as far away as Iraq leaped to the paper’s defense, flooding social media, including the hashtag #savethede on Twitter.

Other examples included:

  • The DE staff stayed up the entire night after the board meeting producing a special 17-page online edition containing its reaction and the reaction of alums at
  • Well-placed DE supporters in the General Assembly arranged for a special $70,000 appropriation, earmarked for the DE, to be added to the SIU appropriation bill.
  • Jackie Spinner, former Baghdad bureau chief of the Washington Post, showed up at the state capital and was walking out of a Senate leadership offices as the university’s new president, Randy Dunn, was arriving.
  • Paul Pabst of the popular Dan Patrick sports program posted a YouTube video in support of the DE (

Dunn, who said his email account was being bombarded with messages from DE alums, responded to the social media storm by saying the DE “is not going to cease publishing on my watch as president of the university.” He added that he hadn’t had time since taking office May 1 to study the fee proposal.

Dunn told William Freivogel, director of the School of Journalism, that he could take the media fee back to the executive committee of the Board of Trustees in June, in time to get the fee in place for the fall.

Dunn has asked Freivogel to put together a working group of media professionals to take another look at the need for a fee. A second group of DE alums also will review the proposal. All of this will occur in time for Dunn to return to the board committee by late June.

In a statement, Freivogel said he had vetted the fee last fall with a group of media professionals, including DE alums. That review had led to the development of the fee proposal, which was approved by Undergraduate Student Government, SIU’s chancellor, Rita Cheng, and the university’s outgoing president, Glenn Poshard.

In the statement, Freivogel said that “even though I believed we had thoroughly researched the fee proposal, I would form the group (Dunn) requested. I told him I would also want to run that group’s findings past the devoted DE alums, whose support has been so heartening in recent days.”

The $9 fee per student per semester fee for the four-day-a-week DE compares to a $7.80 fee already in place at Carbondale’s sister campus in Edwardsville for its weekly paper. The fee for the DE would raise about $260,000 a year, which is the projected deficit for the DE.

The DE’s ad revenue is about 50 percent of what it was in 2006, a trend similar to those reported at other student papers.

The trouble at the Daily Egyptian comes at a time when other college papers in the region are having trouble. The University of Missouri St. Louis recently refused to re-impose a student fee. At Webster University, Eric Rothenbuhler, dean of the School of Communications, cut the money going to the school newspaper. Details can be found online at

In addition, Eastern Illinois University announced it would not publish a print edition this summer because of financial problems.

The Mid-America Emmy® Awards Return to St. Louis

This year’s 37th annual Mid-America Emmy® Awards return to Saint Louis Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Renaissance Grand Hotel. This is a night to recognize the very best in broadcasting within the Mid-America chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), which includes television markets in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas and Louisiana. Illinois native Margaret Judson from HBO’s “The Newsroom” will host this year’s event.


“We’re excited to have an actress with Margaret Judson’s credentials both in the entertainment and news business serve as this year’s host.  Her diverse experience will be an added bonus to this year’s gala,” said NATAS Mid-America Chapter President Angie Weidinger.


Judson began her broadcasting career as a Page at NBC. Since then, she’s worked with an array of famous names in both the news and entertainment industries including Brian Williams and Jimmy Fallon.  She was working as an assistant for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann when she met screenwriter Aaron Sorkin who was doing research for his new show “The Newsroom.”  She served as a consultant for the program before becoming a regular cast member on it.


This year more than 320 broadcasters are nominated for 85 Mid-America Emmy® awards. In addition to awarding those 85 Emmy® statuettes, the awards gala will also honor four television veterans who will be inducted into the prestigious Gold and Silver Circle.  The Gold Circle honors 50 years or more of outstanding service in the television industry, the Silver Circle honors 25 years or more.   This year, Edward J. “Ted” Koplar from KPLR-TV in Saint Louis will be inducted into the Gold Circle. Doug Quick from WICD in Champaign, Illinois, Mike Stroot from Technisonic Studios in Saint Louis, and Larry Washington from FOX 2 in Saint Louis will be inducted into the Silver Circle.


The Mid-America Emmy® chapter is also focused on fostering the future of broadcasting. In addition to presenting awards for excellence in broadcasting to 11 high school students and 6 college students, the chapter will also award a record $6000 in scholarships to area students pursuing degrees in broadcasting.


For a complete list of this year’s Mid-America Emmy® Awards nominees, visit the chapter’s website:

EMMY® 2013
Congratulations to all the Nominees!
The 37th Mid-America EMMY GALA ~ October 5th ~ Renaissance Grand Hotel St. Louis with Host Margaret Judson of  HBO’S “NEWSROOM”
Like the “Mid-America EMMY Awards” on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for real-time news, photos, and information about upcoming events!

Executive Director
NATAS Mid-America
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