News' Middlebrook, Free Press' Riley to get achievement awards

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Former Detroit News assistant managing editor Walter Middlebrook will be honored by Detroit's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the group said Friday.


Middlebrook and Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley will both be given the society's 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards.

It also said Detroit News reporter Rob Snell is one of the finalists for Journalist of the Year.


Middlebrook, Riley and the chapter's Journalist of the Year will receive their awards at its Excellence in Journalism awards banquet on April 18. The event will be held at the San Marino Club on Big Beaver Road in Troy.

“Our annual Excellence in Journalism banquet is a celebration of the greatest writing and reporting by Detroit area journalists, and this year’s finalists produced some of the best the industry has to offer,” Michael Wayland, the chapter's president and reporter for Automotive News, said Friday in a statement. “SPJ Detroit looks forward to honoring them, as well as our other award recipients and Lifetime Achievement Award honorees.”

In addition to Snell, finalists for Journalist of the Year include Tresa Baldas and John Carlisle with the Detroit Free Press and Gus Burns with the MLive Media Group, the society said.

It also announced finalists for its Young Journalist of the Year, who are Hasan Dudar with the Detroit Free Press, Eli Newman with WDET-FM (109.1 FM) and Kate Wells with Michigan Radio.

The society said Middlebrook has been a champion of journalism throughout his career, which has taken him to publications across the country, including Newsday, the New York Times and USA Today. Middlebrook retired from The Detroit News in January.


Riley has been a leading voice for children, education, competent government and race since 2000, it said. 

Information and tickets for the banquet are available at the chapter's website.