The Editorial Excellence Award was sponsored and judged by the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. In the "Under 10,000 Circulation" category, first place went to Brian Martin of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in Cheyenne. The paper's editorials "provided concrete research — whether through quotes, financials or context — to support bold and unrelenting arguments about statewide or local issues," a judge commented.
In the "10,000 to 49,999 Circulation" category of the Editorial Excellence Award, Corey Friedman of The Wilson Times in North Carolina claimed first place. "The Wilson Times stood out here for unearthing conflicts seldom (perhaps never?) covered elsewhere — while also leading the community towards solutions," a judge notes.
The Local News Writing Awards were sponsored and judged by the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky. For the Explanatory Reporting Award in the "Less than 10,000 Circulation" category, first place went to the Beloit Daily News in Wisconsin for Hillary Gavan's "Classrooms at a Crossroads" package. Second place went to the Index-Journal in Greenwood, South Carolina, for Adam Benson's "Oakland to Parkland" package. Third place went to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in Cheyenne for Sarah Zoellick's "Wyoming Boot Camp: A path to success or a pipeline to prison?"
In the "Under 10,000 Circulation" category of the Investigative Reporting Award, first place went to the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau for Bob Miller's "Life Without." Second place also went to the Southeast Missourian for Mark Bliss and Bob Miller's "Pursuit of Proof: The Mischelle Lawless Murder." The Index-Journal in South Carolina took home third place for Damian Dominguez's "This chapter is closed."
In the "10,000 to 49,999 Circulation" category of the Investigative Reporting Award, The Times-Tribune in Scranton took first for its "Sign here" package.