TV reporters win press award

News Sentinel staff

Two television reporters won the Golden Press Card Award, the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists’ top prize, for a series of stories that detailed problems in Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey’s office.

The awards for work done in 2013 were announced Saturday night.

The stories by Eleanor Beck, now a reporter at KVUE-TV in Austin, Texas, and WBIR-TV’s Mike Donila showed how errors made by court clerks led to wrongful arrests, to people being jailed past their release dates, to residents temporarily losing their rights to vote and to court cases being set aside.

Judges praised the series’ “quality” and “journalistic excellence” and said it “stood out from among a number of worthy entries.”

The stories also won the Horace V. Wells Jr. Community Service Award and took first place in the General Reporting category and second place in Investigative Reporting.

Among News Sentinel winners, multimedia journalist Rachel Wise won Awards of Excellence, or first place, in Online Use of Video and Online Use of Photo, and photographer Michael Patrick won an Award of Excellence for his photographs of Tennessee Highway Patrol training. placed first for Overall Internet Site.

Hugh G. Willett won an Award of Excellence in the Freelance Writing for Print category for his News Sentinel stories on Loudon County’s landfill woes, and Mark Harmon was a first-place winner in Personal Columns.

Awards of Merit, or second place, went to Scott Barker for Editorial Writing; Erin Chapin and Rachel Wise for “Knoxville Under Siege” for Online Use of Video; Tom Humphrey for his personal columns and his blog, “Humphrey on the Hill;” Lydia McCoy for “Movement for Change,” Series/Package/Project Writing; Lydia McCoy and Jamie Satterfield for “School Security,” General Reporting; Kristi L. Nelson for “Icon of the Struggle,” Feature Writing; Jamie Satterfield for “Investigating School Security,” Investigative Reporting; Jack Lail for his personal website,; and for Overall Internet Site.

Third-place awards went to Megan Boehnke, “Body of Evidence,” Series/Package/Project Writing; Matt Lakin, “The Battle of Fort Sanders,” Feature Writing; and, Best Overall Internet Site.

Honorable mentions went to columnist Greg Johnson for his opinion columns and Matt Lakin for “Dust of War” in Series/Package/Project Writing.