Oregon Public Broadcasting was recently honored with two first-place awards along with six second- and third-place awards in the 2011 Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism annual competition. The awards honor exceptional 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 media organizations of all sizes.

EarthFix, the innovative public media partnership composed of the largest media institutions in the Pacific Northwest and led by OPB to examine environmental issues in the region, won first place for Best New Online Site. OPB’s daily radio program Think Out Loud along with the Arts and Life website, took first place in the Innovation Award (Online) category for their coverage of the National Book Award nominations last September.

An impressive second place award went to OPBNews.org for the Best Online News Site, and another second place in Spot News Coverage to the radio news team for coverage of Occupy Portland.

Reporter Rob Manning received a third-place award in Sports Reporting for his piece on Arvydas Sabonis (the now-retired Lithuanian center for the Trail Blazers). Manning’s piece on the vulnerability of dams in the region to earthquakes like the one that hit Japan last year won third place in the Investigative Reporting category.

Reporter April Baer received a third-place award in Feature News Reporting for her piece on migrant workers who came to the Willamette Valley town of St. Paul.

EarthFix reporter Bonnie Stewart and editor David Steves took third place in the General News Reporting category for “A Guide to Haze in the Columbia River Gorge.”

There were more than 2,100 entries from dozens of media organizations throughout the region that were then reviewed and rated by out-of-state judges.

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 115,000 contributors.