The Record Newspapers won five awards, including first place for journalist Mark Foster and former reporter/photographer Shea Lazansky of the Illinois Press Association for work completed in 2021.
Record newspapers were among 12 Shaw Local News Network publications that won 73 combined IPA Awards for Reporting and Photojournalism 2021 in the association’s annual Best of the Press competition, according to a Friday announcement. June 3. Newspapers from across Illinois competed for awards in the contest.
Foster won first place in the competition’s Best Single News Story category for an article about a Bristol-Kendall Fire Protection District paramedic firefighter titled “I Must Stay True to My Values.” The article describes the District Fire Protection Board’s decision to fire the probationary paramedic firefighter for refusing to take a state-required COVID-19 vaccine.
Foster also won fourth place in the competition’s Business/Economic Reports category for an article titled “Taking Applications: Kendall County Businesses Struggle to Find Workers.”
Sportswriter Josh Welge won fourth place in the News Reporting Single Story and Sports Feature categories of the competition for his article detailing the reaction of the football team and coaches at Oswego East High School to the death of a member of the team last October. The story was published under the title “Coping with the loss: Oswego East team honors deceased member ahead of game.”
Lazansky received first place honors for Best Localized National History for his feature title “A Day of Catastrophe: Yorkville Couple Reflect on Losing Their Son in the 9/11 Attacks.”
The IPA will announce the winners of the General Excellence Contest and the competition on August 12 at the association’s annual convention at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield.