Beacon heroin, crime coverage earn first place honors in contest
Beacon-News Staff October 19, 2012 3:50PM
Susan Frick Carlman
Updated: November 22, 2012 6:37AM
A pair of joint projects — one on heroin abuse in the community and the other on long-time unsolved crimes — by The Beacon-News, The Courier-News and the Naperville Sun took first place honors in the 2012 Northern Illinois University newswriting contest.
Columnist Denise Crosby and reporters Susan Frick Carlman and Erika Wurst won first place in the Best In-Depth News Story competition for their coverage of the growing problem of heroin abuse in the suburbs.
Judges called their coverage “a carefully researched and poignantly written package about the horrifying resurgence and explosion of heroin abuse.”
“Although all entries for this category were very solid, what captivated me most about the Beacon-News work is how data and humanity were blended so well together,” one judge wrote
In the Best General Feature category, staff writers Bill Bird, Dave Gathman and Matt Hanley were honored for a Storyteller feature, “Return to the scene of the crime,” about long-unsolved crimes in Naperville, Elgin and Aurora.
“Interesting, attractive feature ties local acts of thievery in DuPage and Kane Counties. Good use of old newspaper layouts and pictures strengthen the authenticity,” the judges said.
Emily McFarlan, staff writer for The Courier-News, took second place in the Best General Feature competition, for her Halloween-season story, “Secrets of Munger Road.”
Beacon-News staff writer Stephanie Lulay earned a first place award in the Best News Story-Series competition for “Waiting Game: Jericho Circle,” about the closing of Aurora’s Jericho Circle public housing complex.
“In a very strong category, this entry stands out for the writer’s use of dialogue and sensory detail in deeply reporting the plight of people trying to escape a troubled housing complex,” the judges said about Lulay’s story.
The awards were presented Thursday at the annual NINA Fall Conference at Northern Illinois University.