Daily Herald Collects State Associated Press Awards

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Byline: Teresa Schmedding tschmedding@dailyherald.com By Teresa Schmedding tschmedding@dailyherald.com

The Daily Herald was recognized as News Innovator of the Year at the 2013 Illinois Associated Press Media Editors News and Photo Contest in Springfield.

In addition, the first place award for public service went to Daily Herald Tax Watchdog Editor Jake Griffin, whose weekly Suburban Tax Watchdog column investigates governments' use and misuse of taxpayers' dollars.

The Daily Herald's Sean Stangland also was recognized for Page 1 design, and the Daily Herald was named Associated Press Member of the Year for contributions to the Illinois AP news report. The Sauk Valley Newspapers based in Sterling also won Member of the Year. Daily Herald Photographer Rick West also received a third-place award for sports action photography.

The awards were presented Thursday at the Illinois Press Association/Illinois Associated Press Media Editors annual meeting in Springfield. Daily Herald Deputy Managing Editor/Content Diane Dungey was on hand to accept the awards and give a presentation on innovation.

The innovator award recognized a series of stories, digital features and community events that build engagement with the Daily Herald's audience through popular events such as the Prep Sports Excellence Banquet, the Cook of the Week Challenge, The Fittest Loser and Suburban Chicago's Got Talent.

Judges called the paper's work "a masterful job of connecting with its audience in print, online and in the community" and praised related stories for "bright writing, excellent photography and design."

"Internally, the newspaper's various departments pulled together a remarkable series of community events," the judges wrote. …