Congratulations to Anna Douglas of The Herald in Rock Hill and UNC Charlotte alum Jordan Stutts, our professional and student honorees in the inaugural Outstanding Journalism Awards contest.
Douglas won for a series of stories written on the resignation of Winthrop President Jamie Comstock Williamson. The judges said: “There is no question that this is the entry that clearly leads the way. When a newspaper reporter’s dogged determination and pointed questions result in the removal of a university president, that’s impactful. Each segment of the entry was better than the one before it. A president hires her husband for a part-time job. E-mails prove she wasn’t truthful about it. Further investigation reveals an attempt to purge e-mails, bullying and an attempt to change the outcome of a police investigation. These stories meant all the standards for the best of Charlotte journalism in 2014. Congratulations.”
Of Stutts’ work, the judges said: “It’s hard to believe that Jordan Stutts is still in college. This is professional work without a doubt. The writing shows maturity, extraordinary research and a keen grasp of complex issues. All of the material is easy read and easy to understand. This entry was clearly the head of the class. Well-done! Congratulations! It’s not a stretch to say that we’ll be hearing more from this young man in the future.”
Our other finalists in the professional category were: Bruce Bowers, Bowers Media Group, documentary, “Without Perfect Answers;” Shawn Flynn, Time Warner Cable News, series, “The German Connection;” and Emily Harris, freelance writing in Charlotte Magazine and the New York Times.
In our college division, the finalists were: Jacob Hallex, Winthrop University, Carolyn Rennix, Winthrop University; and Eliza Wireback, Queens University of Charlotte.
Finally, we’d like to thank the following sponsors for donations that helped make this program possible: Frank Barrows and Mary Newsom, Public Relations Society of America, Charlotte Chapter, Wingate University and the Greater Cincinnati chapter of SPJ, whose members served as contest judges.