SPRINGFIELD – The Daily Chronicle won 15 first-place awards, including one for General Excellence, in the Illinois Press Association's annual Excellence in News contest.
"The journalists of the Daily Chronicle did great work last year, and it's gratifying to see them recognized for it," Editor Eric Olson said.
The staff won the Knight Chair Award for Best Investigative/Enterprise Reporting for its coverage of the "coffee fund" scrap metal recycling operation at Northern Illinois University. They also won the Illinois State Bar Association Lincoln Media Award for Best Legal Media Coverage for articles surrounding evidence mishandling in former NIU police officer Andrew Rifkin's rape case and the leadership changes it caused for NIU police.
Other first-place awards include Best Editorial Page, Best Sports Section and Best Web Project. Olson won best local editorial, while former Daily Chronicle reporters Caitlin Mullen and Jeff Engelhardt won News Reporting-Single Story for coverage of Jack McCullough's murder conviction.
Reporter David Thomas won Enterprise/Feature Writing, while Sports Editor Ross Jacobson won the Sports Column category. Former photographer Kyle Bursaw captured first place in the following categories: Photo Series, General News Photo, Personality Portrait and Sports Photo.
Shaw Media Night Copy Desk Chief Jason Yates won Headline Writing.
The Daily Chronicle also placed in 18 other categories for work published last year. The contest considered submissions from newspapers throughout the state with circulations of 10,000 or less.