The Independent wins nine journalism awards in annual Missouri Press contest

By: - September 25, 2021 12:27 pm

Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City (Creative Commons photo by Lee Harkness/Flikr).

The Missouri Independent won nine awards Saturday — including two first place awards for coverage of government and breaking news — in the annual Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. 

The awards were presented at the association’s annual convention in Excelsior Springs. The Independent competed in the Dailies Class 2 category.

First place honors for “best coverage of government” went to Rudi Keller, Rebecca Rivas and Tessa Weinberg for a series of stories focused on Missouri’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Included in the winning package were stories about hospital administrators pleading with Gov. Mike Parson for a statewide mask mandate, difficulties faced by child care providers trying to navigate the state bureaucracy for pandemic assistance and the travails of Missourians facing evictions without access to legal counsel

In the “best breaking news” category, Weinberg won first place for her coverage of a legislative inquiry into allegations of abuse at Christian boarding schools

Editor-in-Chief Jason Hancock won second place in the “best columnist” category, with The Independent taking second in two other categories: “best online newspaper/website” and “best headline writing.”

Rivas won third place in “best news story” for her coverage of the five-year anniversary of the Ferguson report

The Independent also received three honorable mentions: Keller for “best story about history,” Weinberg for “best story about education” and freelancer Adam Satrya Jackson for “best health story.”

“We launched in late October 2020,” Hancock said, “so these nine awards only cover two months of our existence. We are humbled by the recognition and vow to continue to pursue our mission of relentless investigative journalism that sheds light on how decisions in Jefferson City are made and their impact on individuals across the Show-Me State.”

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