Shaw Local News Network receives 16 awards recognizing its journalism

Northwest Herald’s Flooding on the Fox project wins division sweepstakes, which recognizes first-place finisher among all first-place awards

Shaw Local News Network publications received a combined 16 awards from the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors, recognizing journalism across its publications.

The winners in the association’s 2021 newspaper contest were announced Friday. It recognized the best news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns and photos from last year.

The Northwest Herald, based in Crystal Lake, received four first-place and one third-place awards.

Its Flooding on the Fox series received first place in the enterprise coverage category and was named the division’s news sweepstakes winner, which recognizes the first-place finisher among all first-place awards in that division.

The project, published in April 2021, tackled how local, state and federal officials were trying to mitigate flooding in the Fox River watershed and how northern Illinois residents have been and could be affected by flooding and stormwater policies.

The Northwest Herald also received first-place awards in general news and business reporting for reporting on a man convicted in the 1997 murder of an Elgin toddler who claimed the death was an accident and employees at the Domino’s Pizza in Cary who say they were pressured to come into work after being exposed to COVID-19.

The Northwest Herald’s Mark Baldwin received first place for editorial writing and Matthew Apgar received third place for a photo in the portrait and personality category.

The DeKalb-based Daily Chronicle and the Dixon-based Telegraph each received five awards.

The Telegraph earned second place in public service journalism for a piece about the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services probing a home five times before the death of a 7-year-old and another in general news for reporting about how Rita Crundwell’s relocation from the Pekin prison hit the city of Dixon hard.

Photographer Alex T. Paschal received a first-place award in the portrait and personality category and third place in sports.

The Telegraph also received third place for business reporting on the worker shortage.

The Daily Chronicle received a second-place award for enterprise reporting on the city of DeKalb’s purchase of Hunter Properties buildings as part of a settlement with the embattled landlord and a second-place award in business reporting for coverage of Amazon purchasing land in DeKalb.

The Daily Chronicle also took third place in general news for its coverage of issues surrounding the DeKalb city clerk.

Photographer Mark Busch received two second-place awards, one in the portrait and personality category and another in sports.

Tom Collins of the La Salle News-Tribune won first place in feature writing for a piece about the local marking of the Our Lady of Guadalupe feast day.

The awards will be presented in August during the Illinois Press Association convention in Springfield.