Record Newspapers’ staff members earn five state press awards

The Record Newspapers earned five awards, including first-place awards for Reporter Mark Foster and former Reporter/Photographer Shea Lazansky from the Illinois Press Association for work completed in 2021.

The Record Newspapers were among 12 Shaw Local News Network publications that earned a combined 73 awards from the IPA for 2021 reporting and photojournalism in the association’s annual Best of the Press contest, according to an announcement Friday, June 3. Newspapers from throughout Illinois competed for awards in the contest.

Foster earned his first-place award in the contest’s Best Single News Story category for an article on a Bristol-Kendall Fire Protection District paramedic firefighter headlined “I must remain true to my values.” The article described the fire protection district board’s decision to fire the probationary paramedic firefighter for refusing to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 as mandated by the state.

Foster also won fourth-place honors in the in the contest’s Business/Economic Reporting category for an article headlined “Taking Applications: Businesses in Kendall County struggle to find workers.”

Sports Editor Josh Welge earned fourth-place awards in the contest’s News Reporting Single Story and Sports Feature categories for his article detailing the reaction of the Oswego East High School football team and coaches to the death of a team member last October. The story was published under the headline “Coping with loss: Oswego East team pays tribute to fallen member before game.”

Lazansky was awarded first-place honors for Best Localized National Story for her article headline “A disaster day: Yorkville couple reflects on loss of son in 9/11 attacks.”

The IPA will announce the contest’s General Excellence and Sweepstakes winners Aug. 12 during the association’s annual convention at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield.