Work by Journalism Students Awarded 2 Statewide Prizes from Professional Groups
An award-winning investigation by Knox journalism students, The Maytag Project, earned two additional top statewide prizes in June at the annual joint convention of the Illinois Press Association and the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association. The students’ work competed against work produced by professional journalists, and judges described The Maytag Project as taking a “truly unique approach to a huge regional story.”
One of the prizes is the highly coveted Sweepstakes Award, which the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association presents for best reporting/writing entry across all categories. The Maytag Project received the Sweepstakes Award in its division, newspapers with circulations of up to 15,000.
The Maytag Project, which was published in the Galesburg Register-Mail newspaper as “Maytag Employees in Transition,” also garnered a first place award from the Illinois Press Association in the Enterprise Series category. In the IPA contest, the Maytag investigation competed against entries from newspapers with circulations of 10,000 to 40,000.
The Illinois Press Association, referred to as the IPA, and the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association, referred to as the AP, are the major professional organizations for Illinois newspapers. They oversee separate yearly contests for news and photography, attracting entries from professional news outlets of all sizes in Illinois.
The Maytag series examined what happened to employees who were laid off after a local manufacturing plant closed.
“Maytag Employees in Transition” appeared in The Register-Mail in March 2011 as a 17-part, six-day series. Earlier this year, it won first place in the Enterprise Series category of the 2012 Illinois AP contest, competing against professional daily newspapers with circulations of 15,000 or less.
Knox students and faculty collaborated for more than a year on the necessary research, data analysis, interviews, photography, and writing that culminated in The Maytag Project.


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