Detroit News wins public service award in Michigan press competition

The Detroit News

The Detroit News' 2020 investigation into the overtaxing of Detroit homeowners after the Great Recession won the newspaper the Michigan Press Association's Public Service Award.

"Detroit homeowners overtaxed $600 million," by Christine MacDonald and freelancer Mark Betancourt, took first place in the category. The story, which had major contributions from others, including Tom Gromak for a strong digital presentation, revealed more than 90% of 63,000 Detroit homes with delinquent debt were overtaxed by an average of at least $3,700 between 2010 and 2016.

Detroit News staffers also earned several of the association's awards in various categories. Among them:

► First place — Christine Ferretti for “Second chance granted” in government/education news; Robert Snell, Daniel Howes and The Detroit News business staff for “Driven By Greed: The story of UAW corruption” in business/agricultural news; Ingrid Jacques for "University board secrecy undermines public trust" in Best Editorial.

► Second place — John Niyo for “Hiatus may cause us to rethink priority we put on organized youth sports” in the Best Sports column category; Craig Mauger for “Testing needed to reopen economy, but Michigan trails other states” in Best Coverage of Coronavirus in Michigan; George Hunter for “Sins of Detroit podcast: Bad science convicts the wrongfully accused” in Best Podcast.

►Honorable mention — Francis X. Donnelly for “Unimaginable pain: Coronavirus robs Michigan woman of whole family” in the feature story category.

Eighty-three Michigan newspapers and individual members of the press association submitted more than 2,700 entries for the competition.