Journal-World staff wins 17 statewide awards, including top design and journalist of the year recognition

The Journal-World recently received 17 statewide journalism awards from the Kansas Press Association, with staff members winning recognition for top design in the state and a journalist of the year designation.

The Journal-World, which competes in the category that includes the largest daily newspapers in the state, received a first place award for design and layout excellence. The Journal-World staff also won a first place award for best front page design. This is the third time in the last four years that the Journal-World has received the top award for overall design excellence.

Journal-World Editor and Publisher Chad Lawhorn also was the recipient of the Kansas Journalist of the Year Award. Lawhorn was recognized for work completed in 2019, which included an investigative series on cash management problems at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, an examination of water and sewer rates in the city of Lawrence, and his coverage of local business news and the broader economy.

Lawhorn said the awards won by the Journal-World were a reflection of a staff that is strongly committed to local journalism.

“I’m fortunate to work with a staff of talented individuals who care greatly about helping the community stay informed,” Lawhorn said. “We all are very fortunate to work in a community that wants to be engaged and appreciates the importance of timely and accurate news.”

Other first place awards received by the newspaper and its staff include: Matt Tait, sports story, for a piece on KU basketball player David McCormack; Benton Smith, sports column writing; Sylas May, for an infographic on the homeless population in Lawrence; and Allison Tait, for an online promotion for subscriptions.

Second place award winners were: Rochelle Valverde, Nick Gerik and Lawhorn for their coverage of a May 2019 tornado that ripped through Douglas County; the Journal-World staff for design and layout excellence for the newspaper’s NCAA Tourney Preview special section; May for an infographic on South Lawrence Trafficway accidents; and Allison Tait for house ad, most adaptable promotion, and online promotion.

Third place award winners were: Dylan Lysen for education writing; for newspaper website; the Journal-World staff for news and writing excellence; and the Journal-World staff for special section design.

The Tonganoxie Mirror, which is owned by the Journal-World’s parent company, also won 10 awards in a weekly newspaper division. The newspaper and News Editor Shawn Linenberger won a first place award for front page design and second and third place awards for a variety of writing and design projects.

The KPA’s 2020 Awards of Excellence were scheduled to be presented in the spring, but the organization canceled the ceremony due to the pandemic. It recently made the award presentations virtually.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.