Rockford's Independent Newspaper

WNIJ reporters win AP broadcast awards

DEKALB — Two WNIJ reporters won four top awards in the Illinois Associated Press Broadcast News Contest for stories aired in 2017.

The station swept the category for “Best Use of Sound” and also was honored in the “Best Light Feature” and “Best Newswriter” categories.

Jenna Dooley’s feature, NIU Library Brings World War I Sheet Music To Life, about a new collection at Northern Illinois University library, took first place in the Use of Sound category. WNIJ Business Associate Abi Mogge also contributed to this award by playing the music selections used in the piece.

Dooley and senior reporter Susan Stephens shared the second-place award for The Art and Heart of Virgil’s Lenten Fish Fry.

Dooley also won second place in the Light Feature category for It’s Mud Madness As Northern Illinois University Hosts National Soil Testing Competition, about participants’ efforts evaluating soil at a site near Malta, Ill.

Stephens, who also hosts All Things Considered on WNIJ, was runner-up as Best Newswriter for 2017, a category she won in 2016 and 2015, for the consistent high quality of her work in a wide range of stories. Her entries for 2017 were Teachers Learn Social Justice At NIU’s Summer Camp, “Filmmaker Wants Everyone To Learn A Lesson From The Rita Crundwell Fraud Case, Vets Call Veterans Choice ‘A Piece Of Cake,’ ‘A Nightmare,’ And Everything In Between, and Property Rights Vs. Environmental Protection In DeKalb’s Battle Over ‘Weeds’.

The awards were presented Saturday night at the Illinois News Broadcasters Association gathering in East Peoria. R.

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