ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey– FOX 8 News has won three 2015 National Headliner Awards, the oldest and one of the most prestigious national honors in journalism.
It is unusual for a station to win more than one award in a year, and even more rare for a station to take home three first-place awards in a single year.
The first award was given in Human Interest Reporting for a report entitled “The Lost Boys of Sudan: Found in Cleveland.”
The story chronicled the remarkable journey of four young men, part of a much larger group of the so-called “lost boys” of Sudan, who walked across three countries in Africa to escape war and famine, only to be re-located by the United Nations to Cleveland.
The award is shared by anchor and reporter Bill Sheil, editor Mary Stiene, and photojournalist David Bradford.
The second award was in the Public Service category for a five-part series entitled “Heroin Hits Home.”
For an entire week, the FOX 8 I-Team chronicled the explosion of heroin deaths in northeast Ohio, including from opiate prescription painkillers. The stories went from examining why heroin now kills more people in Ohio than car accidents to probing public officials and medical experts for possible solutions.
That award is shared by Bill Sheil, Mary Stiene, and photojournalist Jim Pijor.
The final award was given in Environmental Reporting for a two-part series called “The Ghost of the River Burning.”
The stories examined in-depth the Toledo water crisis last summer that forced a half-million people in northwest Ohio to use bottled water for an entire weekend because of concerns over a toxic algae bloom on Lake Erie – the same lake that also supplies drinking water to Cleveland.
The I-Team investigation showed how, at first that weekend, officials couldn’t agree on what the standard was for determining if the water was safe to drink, and it probed why agencies may not be using the best equipment available on the front lines to determine if our water is indeed safe to drink.
The award is shared by Bill Sheil, Mary Stiene, and photojournalist Ali Ghanbari.
Several other FOX 8 photojournalists contributed to these stories, including (but not limited to) Chris Reece, Darsi Ayers, and Greg Lockhart.
The awards will be presented later this spring.
A complete list of winners from across the nation in print and broadcast categories is expected to be available soon on the National Headliner Awards website.