Best news reporting 2017

Winner takes all.

With a mere 10 entries, the Excellence in News Reporting category didn’t have a lot to choose from. Based on what the judges read, though, they were able to pick out three stories they loved — all from one writer.

The reason? Several stories were ruled out for being opinion and feature, and the remaining did not stand out to the judges as much as one writer’s three stories did.

“If we’re all choosing the same person, our critique isn’t going to be about the writing style — it’s about the story and the reporting,” one judge stated at the get-go. “We can focus on the journalism.”

And as they discussed the journalism, they noticed a curious coincidence. Each of the three pieces hit three different archetypes of news reporting.

“I feel like the journo and these three pieces hit these three really cool corners of journalism: The breaking news one, the super-in-depth-hardcore-tons-of-reporting-didn’t-sleep-a-lot reporting and the journalism about journalism.”

That being said, they wanted to clarify the pieces weren’t picked because they hit three archetypes; the decision was coincidental.

“While it’s important to make the point that news reporting has multiple paradigms, it’s also important to distinguish that we didn’t pick these winners to make that point. We just picked the ones that were best.”

The judges did just that — selecting the top stories they felt rocked.

“I love it. I love it. And I think it’s a really nice testament to how there are different ways to do news. There’s not just one archetype.”

The story that takes first place is investigative and battles misinformation. Those are traits that the judges commend, and want to see more of.

“We have to highlight any journalist that’s fighting that battle — the battle against misinformation. This is one of the most important battles today. It’s one of the most fundamental wars occurring right now. I’m so happy we have the opportunity to highlight that and be able to reward it.”

“It shows that as a journalist you have to be on your toes and be willing to adjust to any situation and write accordingly,” another judge agreed.

Pissed off that one journalist took all three placements? That’s okay. Here’s a solution: For next year’s Kunkels, remember to submit your favorite stories to their appropriate categories. That way, our judges have more than just ten stories to base their decisions on.

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