Knight Center News
Knight Center alum receives national recognition
Knight Center alum (2012) Brian Bienkowski recently received professional recognition as part of a team receiving honorable mention from judges of the John B. Oakes Award.
The national award recognizes excellence in environmental reporting.
Bienkowski is a senior editor and writer for Environmental Health News, a national nonprofit news service that dispatched reporters to seven cities to profile the environmental health threats facing low-income communities of color. As part of that effort he wrote about a Native American tribe in Michigan, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, that is battling a new mine, which poses a threat to the water that the tribe considers sacred.
“Native Americans are even more vulnerable than other disadvantaged groups because of their reliance on natural resources for survival,” he wrote.
Bienkowski’s job before his Environmental Health News gig was as a reporter for the Knight Center’s Great Lakes Echo news service while a masters student here.
Echo ran this story as part of a cooperative agreement with Environmental Health News. Echo seeks to distribute fine Great Lakes environmental journalism produced by alums, other professionals and, of course, our students.
Knight Center Students win regional reporting awards
Knight Center students and projects won five Mark of Excellence awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 4 spring conference.
The students won awards for a diverse set of projects. The Knight Center’s investigative environmental reporting class produced a series of investigative reports on innovative brownfield developments that took third place in online in-depth reporting. Knight Center graduate assistants took first place in online opinion and commentary with an experiment in online reader engagement that asked visitors to place invasive species and “tournament brackets.”
Knight Center winners include:
Online in-depth reporting
3rd place: E. Pacheco B. McGaughey A. O’Dell, C. Morra, J. Spiro and
Online opinion and commentary
1st place: Alice Rossignol and Rachael Gleason for Great Lakes Smackdown
Best independent online student publication
2nd place: Great Lakes Echo
Radio news reporting
3rd place: Alice Rossignol
Non-fiction magazine article
3rd place: Brian Bienkowski