CLEVELAND — The Blade took home top honors for the series “Battle Lines: Gangs of Toledo” in the Cleveland Press Club’s annual journalism competition.
Staff photographer Amy E. Voigt, reporter Taylor Dungjen, and artist Wes Booher won three first-place awards in best use of multimedia, investigative, and online general news categories.
The 2013 series used information from gang members and Toledo police sources to create a map of gang territories in the city after officials denied requests for the city’s map that showed gang boundaries.
First place also was awarded to Mr. Booher in infographics for the interactive gang map in the series. The Blade staff also earned first place in public service for “Changing Minds, Changing Lives,” a forum that addresses poverty and racism after The Blade’s gang series was published.
The Blade won the second place prize for newspaper Web site in the press club’s All-Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards.
In Best in Ohio categories: Keith Burris won first place, column; Dave Kushma, third place in column and editorial, and Jeff Gerritt, first place in essay and second place in editorial.
Other first-place awards for The Blade were:
● Keith Burris, column general/news, “Salvation Army Walks the Walk.”
● David Briggs, sports, “OSU Helps Athletes Clear Hurdles of Locker-Room Stigma.”
Other second-place awards for The Blade were:
● Mark Zaborney, obituary, “Seymour Rothman/Veteran Blade Columnist Thrived Among Celebrities, Everyday Citizens.”
Other third-place awards for the newspaper were:
● Mark Reiter, breaking news single story, “Area Brothers Found Dead; Putnam Co. Teen Charged.”
● Kris Turner, investigative, “Deals Gone Bad.”
● Jeff Gerritt, column general/news, “We’re Locked and Loaded With Fear.”
● Staff, A1 news front.
The 2014 awards ceremony was Friday and marked the 34th year in which the Press Club of Cleveland has honored the best journalists in Ohio.