IBJ, Indiana Lawyer win more than 20 ‘Best in Indiana’ awards

Keywords IBJ / Media & Marketing

IBJ won 11 Best in Indiana Journalism awards Monday night from the Society of Professional Journalists, including first place honors for Audrey Pelsor, the newspaper’s lead designer, and former Statehouse reporter Lindsey Erdody.

IBJ, which competes in the largest category for newspapers and online news categories, won awards for its 2020 coverage of the environment, government and politics, and the pandemic and health. Erdody, Pelsor and reporter John Russell each won two awards.

In addition, The Indiana Lawyer—also owned by IBJ Media Co.—won a dozen awards, including two first place awards for reporter Marilyn Odendahl as well as first place honors for reporter Katie Stancombe, Editor Olivia Covington and former Editor Dave Stafford.

The Indiana professional chapter of SPJ announced the awards during a virtual presentation on YouTube.

IBJ staff won the following awards:

  • Pelsor took first place in the graphics and illustrations category for a package of charts about downtown Indianapolis. The judges said the graphic was “extremely informative” and “packaged effectively, giving readers a good view of downtown Indianapolis in the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • Pelsor won third place with former IBJ Creative Director Wendy Shapiro for page one design.
  • Erdody, who is now a digital editor at WFYI-FM 90.1, won first place in the government and politics category for stories about a scandal involving a former state senator and casino executives. The judges said the stories were “extremely well-researched, well-written and detailed despite the inherent obstacles of covering an ever evolving and complex topic.”
  • Erdody won second place for election and campaign coverage.
  • Russell won second place in the environmental reporting category.
  • Russell also won second place in the medical or science reporting category.
  • News Editor Mason King won second place in the podcast category for the IBJ Podcast.
  • Designer Brad Turner took second place in the graphics and illustrations category for an illustration for a story about internships during a pandemic.
  • Columnist Mike Lopresti won second place for his sports columns.
  • The IBJ staff won second place in the business or consumer affairs reporting category for coverage of the impact of the pandemic on businesses.
  • Reporter Mickey Shuey, Editor Lesley Weidenbener and former Editor Greg Andrews won third place in the multiple picture group for photos from last year’s downtown protests and riots.

The Indiana Lawyer, which competes in a smaller newspaper category, won the following awards:

  • Odendahl won first place in the minority, diversity and inclusion coverage category for a story headlined, “Landmark LGBTQ ruling clouded by ministerial exception expansion.”
  • Odendahl also won first place in the social justice reporting category for a story headlined, “Same-sex moms fight for equal recognition on children’s birth certificates.”
  • Stancombe won first place in the personality profile category for her story headlined, “Fostering hope: Adoption attorney releases documentary series on indiana’s foster care system.”
  • Covington and Stafford won first place in the investigative reporting category for a story headlined, “Judges portrayed as aggressors in gunman’s self-defense claim.”
  • Covington, Odendahl and Stancombe won second place in the government reporting category for their coverage of former Attorney General Curtis Hill.
  • Covington and Stancombe won second place in the criminal justice category for a story headlined, “Making wrongful convictions right.”
  • Odendahl won second place in education reporting for a story headlined, “A year of firsts for the Indiana bar exam.”
  • Odendahl also won second place in the children’s issues category for coverage of children in the foster care system.
  • Pelsor and designer Julie Kirkendoll won second place for page one design.
  • Turner won second place for an illustration called “Sizeable non-disability.”
  • Stafford won third place in the non-deadline story category for a story headlined, “Judge to defendant: Monfort faces discipline for alleged fraud.”
  • Covington won third place for in the elections category for her coverage of the attorney general’s race.

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