The Cleveland Jewish Publication Company captured 10 awards, including two first-place honors, in the 2021 Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest sponsored by Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists chapters, awarded Oct. 2 aboard the Belle of Cincinnati Riverboat in Newport, Ky.
The CJPC competed against all daily and weekly newspapers in the state with a circulation of under 60,000 and against all publications in Best of Ohio categories. Winners were recognized for work produced in 2020.
Managing Editor Bob Jacob captured first place for best deadline reporting, body of work and for best headline writing, body of work.
The deadline reporting was for: “Beachwood Place shooting: ‘I was crying, I was shaking, I was scared …”;“Federal agents raid Tibor’s Kosher Meats, three homes”; and “Swastika, graffiti found on University Heights buildings”.
The judge’s comments were “nice job with these breaking news stories, especially the mall shooting piece. The personal testimony helped elevate the overall entry.”
The headline writing was for: “Browns thermometer rising in Baker’s kitchen”; “Chalk talk: Family has write idea with thank you message to police department”; “Building an Empire: Poultry processor faces unique challenge amid COVID-19”; “Diamond was a precious gem in catering business for 70 years”; “Sermon delivered when OSU needs a prayer” and “Virtual Challah Bake kneads new twist to rise to occasion”.
The judges said headlines were “creative and catchy, the writer was able to use a twist of words to create an interesting headline that draws your attention.”
Staff Reporter McKenna Corson placed second in best of show, body of work, best photographer and best children’s issues reporting.
The photography award was for two photos of the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland Shavuot, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage Presidents Day, MetroHealth vaccines, Pinecrest reopening and Solon vigil. The children’s issues award was for “COVID-19 may lead to opportunity for child predators.”
Staff Reporter Jane Kaufman earned second place for best investigative reporting with the story, “State probe: Executive, nurses conspired to submit false tests.”
Design Manager Stephen Valentine took second place in best of show, page one design for his Passover cover, “Protesting the death of George Floyd” and “Ohio protest draw thousands.”
Regina Brett won second place for best of show, body of work best columnist for: “A Laker legend lives forever,” “Black Lives Matter. Period,” “Indians are going, going, gone,” “Lewis spent life dedicated to ‘bridging’ differences,” "New year can’t come soon enough” and “RBG – no one can fill her shoes.”
Arts and culture critic Bob Abelman finished second for best of show, body of work best critic for: “Dobama’s ‘Skeleton Crew’ a powerful requiem for blue collar America,” “‘If/Then’ at Lakeland Civic Theatre serves up some what ifs,” “‘Sleuth’ delectably twists and turns upon the Hanna Theatre stage,” “Touring ‘The Illusionists’ offers delightful deception at Playhouse Square,” “‘The Scottsboro Boys’ effectively breaks hearts at the Beck Center,” and “Touring ‘Jersey Boys’ still a winner though a tad leaner.”
The CJN staff captured runner-up for website, cjn.org and for best of show digital media, best general news site. Cheryl Sadler is Digital Marketing Manager and Alyssa Schmitt is Digital Content Producer. Both are responsible for CJPC digital products.
CJPC Lifestyles Editor Amanda Koehn earned second place in trade publications, best general story for “Talking Trash” in the CJPC’s Balanced Family magazine.
Journalists from the Indiana SPJ chapter served as judges, with 255 awards announced out of 580 entries submitted.
SPJ, founded in 1909, is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and to stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.