Monday, December 23, 2013

Winner - First Place - Best General Commentary - Division 5 - 2013 Hoosier State Press Association Foundation Better Newspaper Contest


On Dec. 7, 2013 at the 2013 Hoosier State Press Association Foundation Better Newspaper Contest Awards Luncheon and Newsroom Seminar at the Indianapolis Marriott North, I officially became an award-winning journalist.


I won First Place for General Commentary for Division 5, which comprises daily newspapers with circulations between 14,000 and 34,999.


Although I submitted the required three columns published in the Kokomo Tribune between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, my April 17, 2013 column, "Believe; it may be law soon," was singled out by the judges, who said my "thoughtful, well-reasoned responses to religious overreach gave this entry the edge. Good, clear writing." 

2012-12-12 – “House of Burgess – Keeping the holiday holy” [Page: A4]

2013-04-17 – “House of Burgess – Believe; it may be law soon” [Page: A5]

2013-05-15 – “House of Burgess – The revolution will be printed” [Page: A5]


You can download a copy of the awards tab here, and winning stories here.

You can see a gallery of photos from the event here. (I am slightly visible in one.)


I was one of six Kokomo Tribune coworkers to take home some hardware that day. Here is the full story about it:

Tribune wins 6 first-place awards at annual contest

Kokomo Tribune | Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2013 5:05 pm
The Kokomo Tribune brought home six first place awards from the annual Hoosier State Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were announced during the annual luncheon Saturday in Indianapolis.
“Our reporters, photographers and editors offered readers quality community journalism within the past year, and our peers recognized our efforts,” Tribune editor Jeff Kovaleski said.
Reporters Mike Fletcher, Lindsey Ziliak and Ken de la Bastide were recognized with a first place award for their deadline reporting on the record flood that occurred April 19. Judges commented that the stories gathered the day of the flood hit home.
Former Tribune enterprise editor Ken de la Bastide earned first place for community service for a series of stories on the state of trauma care in Indiana. The judges commented that Bastide’s reporting showed a community issue that could potentially affect any person.
Tribune night editor Rob Burgess earned a first place finish for best general commentary. The category required several entries, and judges called his opinion articles “thoughtful, well-reasoned responses to religious overreach.”
Photographers Tim Bath and Kelly Lafferty earned several awards for their work. Bath placed second for best spot news photo, first place for best general news photo and second for best sports feature photo. Bath was also a finalist for news photo of the year.
Lafferty won both first and third places in the best feature photo category and first and third places for best still photo story with audio or video story.
The Kokomo Tribune competes with newspapers with circulation up to 34,999 – about 15,000 more than its daily circulation count.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Rob Burgess - WFHB - Daily Local News stories


I have just uploaded my stories from my time as correspondent for WFHB's Daily Local News:

  • Tracks: 1-2 – Midwifery Bill Story - 1/11/07 - Correspondent Rob Burgess goes to the front lines of the battle over midwifery in Indiana, one of only a few states that require midwives to be licensed nurses in order to legally practice their craft. Is this a matter of public health or personal freedom? Decide for yourself as we hear from locally-based State Representative Peggy Welch and other proponents of midwifery policy reform. (wrote and produced)
  • Tracks 3-4 – Catholic Priest Abuse Story - 1/18/07 - Correspondent Rob Burgess investigates complaints by Anne McLaughlin, the mother of two children she says were unfairly expelled from Bloomington's St. Charles Catholic School when they stopped going to mass to avoid a priest they say is a bigot. (wrote and produced)
  • Tracks 5-7 – Anthem/Bloomington Hospital Standoff Story - 2/14/07 - Correspondent Rob Burgess explores the standoff between Anthem and Bloomington Hospital, whose contract with the insurance provider expired at the end of 2006. Get both sides of the story in a feature report that includes Bloomington Hospital's Jim Myers, Anthem representative Tony Felts, and a third perspective from Dean Melton of Monroe Hospital, which was able to negotiate a contract with Anthem. (wrote and produced)
  • Tracks: 8-12 - "The Streets of Bloomington" - 02/20/07 - Homeless people in our community talk about what life is like for them. - It gets cold in Bloomington. Really cold. Imagine if you had nowhere to go. Imagine what it would be like to sleep on the streets of Bloomington. This original documentary chronicles the lives of people struggling with poverty and homelessness right here in our town. The audio was recorded on the streets and on-location at the Shalom Community Center, Backstreet Mission, and Community Kitchen, three critical service providers struggling in the tide of nearly four thousand homeless individuals and families living in poverty right now in this area. It also includes an in-studio appearance by Joel Rekas, executive director of the Shalom Center. The voices that you hear in this program are real people talking about what life is like for them, and you can't help thinking about how your life is different from theirs, but also how it's similar. The humanity will move you. "The Streets of Bloomington" was produced by Rob Burgess, Ramon Bannister, and Chad Carrothers with original theme music by Jamyll Efiom as a special production of our volunteer-powered news and public affairs department here on community radio WFHB. (produced)
  • Tracks: 13-15 – Gov. Mitch Daniels visits Eastern Greene Elementary - 03/07/07 - Governor Mitch Daniels listens to local schoolteachers talk about kindergarten in a WFHB radio exclusive recorded on-location at Eastern Greene Elementary. (produced)
  • Track 16 - Voices in the Street 03/15/07 - "Banning the Baddies That Clog Our Arteries: The Campaign Against Trans Fats" - Recently the New York City Board of Health banned all but tiny amounts of trans fats from food served in city restaurants, the first major municipal ban on trans fats. Most trans fats are industrially created as a side effect of partial hydrogenation of plant oils. Unlike most foods, trans fats are bad even if consumed in moderation.Trans fats are tightly regulated in a few countries, must be disclosed on product labels in many others, and are the central issue in several ongoing lawsuits, particularly against fast food outlets. Some nutritionists have gone so far as to recommend a surgeon general's warning on food containing trans fats. But some civil liberties activists say the warnings and bans are a warning sign of a nanny state, and unlike a smoking ban, nobody dies from second-hand trans fat consumption. So what do you think Bloomington? Should the government tell us what we can or can't eat? And what's the best way to let people know what they're eating without restricting their right to do so? (produced)
  • Tracks: 17-19 – Catholic Priest Abuse Story follow-up – 4/20/07 - Why is a priest accused of racist and sexist comments to children still in charge of Bloomington churches? That's the question posed by Anne McLaughlin and Randy Paul, who say the Catholic Archdiocese's assurances that Father Charlie Chesebrough has retired are misleading. (wrote and produced)