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KUOW newsroom recognized with 16 SPJ Excellence in Journalism Awards

May 20, 2021

Seattle, WA — KUOW's newsroom has won ten first place and six runner up awards in this year's Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Region 10 Excellence in Journalism contest. Two of the winning stories were reported by teens in KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media program.

SPJ's Western Washington chapter announced the full list of winners on May 19. All of KUOW's awards were in the Large Newsroom division.

Below, we've shared KUOW's winning stories. We are proud of our team of journalists and the incredible reporting they did last year. We are also grateful to our supporters, who make this kind of local journalism possible.

Audio: Crime & Law Enforcement Reporting

First Place

This woman ‘died three times’ after Seattle Police hit her with a blast ball," by Liz Jones and Isolde Raftery.

caption: The exact moment that the blast hit Aubreanna Inda, 26, at the demonstrations on Capitol Hill. Seattle police officers deployed chemical agents, pepper spray and flash-bang grenades on protesters at the intersection of 11th Avenue and East Pine Street on the 10th day of protests following the police killing of George Floyd, shortly after midnight on Monday, June 8, 2020, in Seattle.
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The exact moment that the blast hit Aubreanna Inda, 26, at the demonstrations on Capitol Hill. Seattle police officers deployed chemical agents, pepper spray and flash-bang grenades on protesters at the intersection of 11th Avenue and East Pine Street on the 10th day of protests following the police killing of George Floyd, shortly after midnight on Monday, June 8, 2020, in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Audio: Crime & Law Enforcement Reporting

Second Place

"Former Seattle foster child reflects on end of youth jail: ‘This brings me to tears’," by Amy Radil.

caption: Jasmine Jarrell, now a mother of two, was put in King County's youth detention for fleeing foster care placements as a child.
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Jasmine Jarrell, now a mother of two, was put in King County's youth detention for fleeing foster care placements as a child.
Credit: Courtesy of Jasmine Jarrell

Audio: Feature, Soft News

First Place

"The tale of the Black birders and ruffled feathers on Facebook," by Deborah Wang, edited by Gil Aegerter.

caption: Environmental scientist Armand Lucas on a birdwatching walk in Seattle's Discovery Park.
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Environmental scientist Armand Lucas on a birdwatching walk in Seattle's Discovery Park.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Audio: Feature, Soft News

Second Place

"This immigrant has uplifting tips on making quarantine work. He's been living like this for a year," by Esmy Jimenez, edited by Liz Jones.

Audio: Government & Politics Reporting

First Place

"Who takes responsibility for this racist ad?" by David Hyde, edited by Gil Aegerter.

Audio: Feature, Hard News

Second Place

"Teens are warning each other about sex trafficking on TikTok. Here’s why the videos could do more harm than good," by Jadenne Radoc Cabahug of KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media program, edited by Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, production support and mentorship by Kyle Norris.

caption: On popular social media platforms like TikTok, teenagers post videos warning other teens of trafficking tactics. But sometimes these tactics aren't true.
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On popular social media platforms like TikTok, teenagers post videos warning other teens of trafficking tactics. But sometimes these tactics aren't true.
Credit: KUOW PHOTO/Jadenne Radoc Cabahug

Audio: Investigative Reporting

First Place

"School Abuse," by Ann Dornfeld, edited by Liz Jones.

Writing: Education Reporting

First Place

"School Abuse," by Ann Dornfeld, edited by Liz Jones.

Writing: Investigative Reporting

First Place

"School Abuse," by Ann Dornfeld, edited by Liz Jones.

caption: A locked gate is shown at an outdoor play court at View Ridge Elementary School in northeast Seattle on Thursday, November 19, 2020. A Seattle Schools investigation revealed that a second-grade boy had been placed in this enclosure, dubbed “the cage” by school staff members, on multiple occasions during the school day.
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A locked gate is shown at an outdoor play court at View Ridge Elementary School in northeast Seattle on Thursday, November 19, 2020. A Seattle Schools investigation revealed that a second-grade boy had been placed in this enclosure, dubbed “the cage” by school staff members, on multiple occasions during the school day.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Audio: Social Equity Reporting

First Place

"For students of color, Covid-19 reveals deep inequities in Seattle area schools," by Essey Paulos, Mimi Zekaryas, and Charlotte Engrav of KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media, edited by Kelsey Kupferer, production support and mentorship by Mary Heisey.

caption: Hosts Asemayet "Mimi" Zekaryas and Essey Paulos pose for a photo on Zoom. As many schools switch to online learning due to Covid-19, some students thrive while others fall behind. How does inequities in school funding play a part in these disparities, and which students are the most vulnerable?
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Hosts Asemayet "Mimi" Zekaryas and Essey Paulos pose for a photo on Zoom. As many schools switch to online learning due to Covid-19, some students thrive while others fall behind. How does inequities in school funding play a part in these disparities, and which students are the most vulnerable?
Credit: KUOW PHOTO/Asemayet Zekaryas and Essey Paulos

Photo & Design: General News Photography

First Place

11th & Pine, by Megan Farmer

Second Place

Seattle Protests for Racial Justice, by Megan Farmer

Photo & Design: Photo Portfolio

First Place

Megan Farmer

Photo & Design: Portrait Photography

Second Place

Covid-19 Testing, by Megan Farmer

caption: From left, registered nurse Shu Kuang, registered nurse Tina Nguyen and patient services representative Denny Ho stand for a portrait following a shift of Covid-19 testing on Friday, November 20, 2020, at the International Community Health Services drive thru testing site on 8th Avenue South in Seattle's International District.
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From left, registered nurse Shu Kuang, registered nurse Tina Nguyen and patient services representative Denny Ho stand for a portrait following a shift of Covid-19 testing on Friday, November 20, 2020, at the International Community Health Services drive thru testing site on 8th Avenue South in Seattle's International District.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Writing: Arts and Culture Reporting

First Place

"This Seattle woman brews a cup of tea that tastes like the wedding scene from Game of Thrones," by Dyer Oxley, edited by Isolde Raftery.

caption: Friday Elliott is portrayed on Tuesday, January 28, 2019, at Friday Afternoon, a tea room along Stone Way North, in Seattle.
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Friday Elliott is portrayed on Tuesday, January 28, 2019, at Friday Afternoon, a tea room along Stone Way North, in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Writing: Crime & Law Enforcement Reporting

Second Place

"This Auburn cop killed 3 and injured others. His department didn't stop him — outsiders did," by Ashley Hiruko, Liz Brazile, Isolde Raftery.