Chicago The Journal-World won three first-place awards in the Inland Press Association’s 2012 journalism contest. The awards were presented this morning in Chicago.
Joe Jones was the first person in the state to be exonerated of a crime by DNA evidence, but life after prison has been difficult. Now authorities have identified the man they say is responsible.
Photographer Nick Krug won first place in the Multimedia category and second in the Picture Story category for his work on a story about Lawrence father Aaron Polson, whose wife, Aimee Ziegler, took her own life following an eight-year battle with postpartum psychosis and depression.
The Journal-World’s series on a Topeka man, Joe Jones, who struggled to get his life back on track after being exonerated for a rape he did not commit was honored for Creative Use of Multimedia. Reporter Shaun Hittle identified the existence of decades-old DNA evidence that Topeka police used to charge another man, Joel Russell, in the crime. The charges against Russell, who is currently serving time for other sexual assaults, were dropped earlier this month after prosecutors determined the statute of limitations expired. Photographs and video from Krug and Kevin Anderson contributed to the story.
LJWorld.com won first place for General Excellence in the contest’s digital journalism component.
Krug also won a second-place award in the Sports category for a photograph he made last March of Kansas University power forward Thomas Robinson during the NCAA Sweet Sixteen game against North Carolina State.
Chief photographer Mike Yoder won second-place award in the Multimedia category for his work with Civil War re-enactors with the 3rd Kansas, Battery B, light artillery unit, including two men from Lawrence, who participated in the Wilson’s Creek 150th anniversary re-enactment in August 2011 near Springfield, Mo. William Quantrill fought with the Missouri Guard in the battle on Aug. 10, 1861, considered the second major battle of the Civil War. Two years later, Quantrill attacked Lawrence.
Yoder’s third-place honors in the Feature category was for a photograph he made of Kansas Highway Patrol trooper saying goodbye to a young girl he had helped shop for Christmas gifts last year.
Inland Press Association, which is based in suburban Chicago, is a nationwide not-for-profit newspaper association and foundation with more than 1,100 member newspapers.