News team recognized for work in online media, radio and television

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) was recently honored with five first place awards along with eight second and third place awards in the 2012 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Excellence in Journalism Contest.

The annual contest honors the very best in journalism in SPJ’s Region 10, which includes Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Awards are given to all forms of media—print, online, radio and TV—and to media organizations ranging in size.

OPB’s 2012 SPJ Awards include:

Online Media:

First place Best Site, General News
OPB News Website (
First placeBest Site, Specialized Subject
EarthFix: news fixed on the environment (
First placeSpecial Report/Enterprise category
EarthFix Staff for “Coal in the Northwest
Second placeSpecial Report/Enterprise category
EarthFix Staff for “Clean Water Act anniversary
Third placeArts/Entertainment/Lifestyle category “Arts & Life” page (
Second placeInnovation Award
First place News Series category
EarthFix for “Clean Water: The Next Act”
Third placeNews Series category
Rob Manning for “Learning with less”
Second placeFeature News Reporting category
David Nogueras for “As craft brewery sales climb, growlers fill with beer”
Second place Investigative Reporting
Bonnie Stewart, EarthFix for “Costly Davy Crockett oil spill could have been prevented”
Third place Special Report
Rob Manning for “Learning with less”
First place Feature News Reporting
Vince Patton, Michael Bendixen and Nick Fischer for “Ice diving”
Third placeSpecial Report/Documentary
Kami Horton for “The Suffragists: An Oregon Experience”


In addition to these awards, OPB Reporter Kristian Foden-Vencil received Special Recognition from the Bruce Baer Award committee for his November 2012 story titled “What Exactly is an ‘Ineligible’ Boy Scout Volunteer?” The report was the culmination of a two-year fight by Oregon media organizations to obtain Boy Scout records.  

The Bruce Baer Award is Oregon’s top prize for investigative reporting and has been presented annually since 1978. It is named after the late Bruce Baer, a political reporter in Oregon for 13 years. OPB was last honored with the Bruce Baer Award Special Recognition in 2008 for a report on how Oregon County sheriffs were working to maintain privacy for those with Concealed Weapons permits.

OPB’s EarthFix partner stations are also recognized with SPJ awards. EarthFix is a public media project of OPB, Boise State Public Radio, Idaho Public Television, KCTS 9 Seattle, KUOW Public Radio, Northwest Public Radio and Television, and Southern Oregon Public Television.

In the Online Video category, EarthFix’s Katie Campbell (KCTS 9) won first place for Drained: urban stormwater” and for Television-Video Photography, Campbell and Michael Werner also received first place for “Quileute Tribe fights changing climate.” Additionally, in the radio Feature News Reporting category, EarthFix’s Courtney Flatt at Northwest Public Radio received third place for “The case of the great horned owl mix up.”

The SPJ received more than 1,900 entries from more than 260 news outlets and journalists representing daily newspapers, non-daily newspapers, alternative newsweeklies, magazines, television (two market sizes), radio and online. Entries were submitted to judges across the United States to choose finalists in nearly185 categories.

SPJ Award winners were honored on Saturday, May 18 at ceremonies in Portland and Seattle.


About OPB 

OPB is the largest cultural and education institution in the region, delivering excellence in public broadcasting to 1.5 million people each week through television, radio and the Internet. Widely recognized as a national leader in the public broadcasting arena, OPB is a major contributor to the program schedule that serves the entire country. OPB is one of the most-used and most-supported public broadcasting services in the country and is generously supported by members across Oregon and southern Washington. For more information, visit