EDITORIAL COLUMN: WI’s editorial spreads its wings and wins top industry awards for 2022

Three years ago, our editor, Denise Rolark Barnes, and I decided to test our mettle by submitting entries from among our writers, photographers, and layout and design team to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Dateline Awards competition. (SPJ). As a member of the prestigious national organization, I knew SPJ’s reputation and believed that the quality of our work at The Informer made us as competitive as any other local publication.

So we threw our hats into the ring for the Washington, DC’s weekly newspaper division, Pro Chapter. To the surprise of some members of the WI family, but not mine, we were rewarded with runner-up and first-place awards, including photography (Anthony Tilghman) and commentary and review (D. Kevin McNeir).

The following year, we again submitted entries that won prizes in the 2021 competition.

However, this year we exceeded all expectations with finalist awards given to our staff in the following categories: Beat Reporting (William J. Ford); Feature Photography (Anthony Tilghman); Commentary and Criticism (D. Kevin McNeir); News Without Breaking (Sam PK Collins); Sports (D. Kevin McNeir); and Art/Photo Illustration (Zebra Designs).

On Tuesday, June 14, we’ll find out which of the aforementioned finalists were chosen to receive first-place honors in their respective categories at the annual Dateline Awards and Hall of Fame dinner. The program, held in person for the first time in three years, will take place at the National Press Club of the North West.

Like everyone else, it’s always good to be recognized for the work you do by your peers, so these awards have special meaning for everyone at The Washington Informer. I’ve often said I’d pit our staff against anyone else because I believe we’re an effective team – a team that cares about reporting local news that shines a light on lesser-known and seldom-told stories. that deserve to be told.

But there is more good news to share.

Earlier this year, the MDDC Press Association, which serves organizations in Maryland, Delaware and DC News, awarded prizes in this year’s competition in the weekly news division to the following writers and photographers: Anthony Tilghman , Daniel Kucin Jr., Dr. Shantella Sherman, Sam PK Collins and William J. Ford.

Won’t He? Won’t he?

Finally, just a few weeks ago, our top Prince George’s County reporter, William J. Ford, learned that he had been chosen as a Maynard 200 Fellow for 2022 in the investigative storytelling category.

I had the honor of being a Maynard Fellow for 2019 and couldn’t have been more delighted that The Informer can now boast of having two Fellows within this highly competitive organization – one committed to guide and support people of color working in the journalism industry.

It’s quite encouraging when your peers praise you, letting you smell the roses while you’re still out there doing what you love to do – what you’re driven to do and have a sometimes-difficult passion for. others to really understand.

That said, we promise to continue providing our readers with the very best of ourselves and we hope that you, our readers, will continue to support us in our endeavours. We are here at your service.

About Julius Southworth

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