By Brandon Reid
Contributing Writer Richard S. Gubbe and The Rock River Times have been awarded first place for best News Reporting Series in the 2012 Illinois Press Association (IPA) Editorial Contest.
The award was announced June 15 at the IPA’s 2012 Convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Ill.
TRRT was awarded for a series of articles by Gubbe about contaminated drinking water in homes around the former Amerock factory in the 4400 block of Auburn Street. The series also took second place in the IPA’s Knight Chair Award for Best Investigative/Enterprise Reporting.
The Amerock series has exposed how toxic materials may have been dumped onto the property surrounding the former Amerock plant and into nearby water.
Amerock, formerly the largest producer of kitchen and bathroom hardware in North America, operated the facility from 1956 to 1987. According to sources, pollution from the factory was so rampant between 1956 and 1974 that the effects are still being felt around the plant at Auburn and Central.
The investigation into possible pollution in and around the plant is ongoing. Click here for a link to the series.
TRRT was awarded in Division C, which represents non-dailies with a circulation of 10,000 or greater. TRRT has a weekly circulation of 22,000, and has been a member of the IPA since March 2004.
More than 100 daily and non-daily newspapers competed in 36 editorial categories. The Iowa Newspaper Association judged the more than 3,500 editorial entries.
TRRT has received first-place honors each year it has participated in the statewide contest, including Best Investigative Series in 2004 for a series of articles by former staff writer Jeff Havens exposing mismanagement at Rock Valley College. TRRT last participated in the editorial contest in 2005, and finished second in Advertising Excellence in the 2005 Advertising/Marketing Contest.
The IPA represents more than 480 daily and weekly newspapers in Illinois.
Posted June 15, 2012