Detroit News named best paper in state in Michigan AP contest

Ariana Taylor
The Detroit News

The Detroit News has been named best newspaper in the state in its class for 2019 in the annual Michigan Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.

Detroit News staffers also earned 20 other awards, including nine first-place honors for their work.

Some 31 daily newspapers from across the state submitted 850 entries for the contest, which was judged by editors from eight Ohio newspapers.

Awards were scheduled to be presented during a ceremony Saturday in Lansing, but the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic; organizers announced winners online.

The News competed in the Division III category for newspapers with a daily circulation of more than 40,000, alongside the Detroit Free Press and the Grand Rapids Press.

The paper earned first place for general excellence; the Free Press took second; and the Grand Rapids Press placed third. 

In best spot news coverage, The News won first for "UAW Presidents Gary Jones, Dennis Williams Implicated in Federal Probe."

"Even if this was anticipated, the reporting on deadline gave valuable context to readers as to why this is significant and why it matters both locally, regionally and nationally," the judges wrote.

In the best headline writing category, copy editor Steve Wilkinson won first place and news editor Andreas Supanich took third.

Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes wins national writing award.

Business columnist and editor Daniel Howes won first and auto critic Henry Payne was third in best column.

In best editorial writing, deputy editorial page editor Ingrid Jacques won first and editorial page editor Nolan Finley won third.

In best sports story, Detroit Tigers' beat reporter Chris McCosky won first for "Could These Tigers Be Baseball's Worst Team Ever?"

Columnist John Niyo won first and columnist Bob Wojnowski won second in best sports column.

Sports writer Tony Paul won third in best sports feature story for "Year After Son's Death, Tigers Fan Who Caught Pujols' Baseball Keeps Things in Perspective."

Anton Maurice Spann Sr., 56, gives his wife, Shavonne Spann, 33, both of Detroit, a good morning kiss as she wakes up on Jan. 30, 2019. They were the only two people to stay at the St. Augustine/St. Monica Catholic Church warming center the previous night.

Photographer Todd McInturf won third in best spot news photo for "Morning Kiss at the Shelter." The judges described it as a "nice, intimate moment. An unexpected frame from a news event."

In best sports photo, photographer Daniel Mears won first place for "Got Him Trapped!"

"A different but fun moment involving both players and coach that catches the reader's eye," the judges wrote.

Bouffard_Karen.jpg           Photos are of mugshots of the employees of the Detroit News shot in the studio in Detroit, April 1, 2015.   (David Guralnick / Detroit News)

Reporter Karen Bouffard took third place in best public service for "Healing Justice."  For the series, she traveled to Norway to study how that country's model of restorative justice and mental health care could hold keys to easing Michigan's prison population and preventing those released from becoming repeat offenders.

In best investigative reporting, reporter Robert Snell won first place with "UAW Bribery Probe," which judges said "just reinforced the long-time sleazery most of us have long suspected within" the union.

Presentation editor James Hollar won second in best full page design for "Yzerman’s Evolution."

Reporter George Hunter won second in best multimedia storytelling for "Sins of Detroit' True Crime Podcast Focuses on Wrongful Convictions."

George Hunter

The Detroit News also won third in best digital presence.

Former News reporter Louis Aguilar won first in best enterprise reporting for "District Detroit: Inside the Ilitches' Land of Unfulfilled Promises" and second in Best Business Writing.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing newspapers and broadcast stations in the United States.