Wednesday Journal was honored as the best large-circulation weekly paper in the state last week at the 2023 Illinois Press Association awards held June 8 in downstate Bloomington. 

The paper took the top spot in the category of General Excellence. Judges from the Iowa Press Association wrote, “This publication has it all, from news to opinion, sports to education news, a beautiful Christmas church guide to a vibrant real estate section — definitely something for everyone, and very well done.”

The Forest Park Review, a sister publication also owned by the nonprofit Growing Community Media, took the same honor in the small circulation category.

The Journal took other prizes, too. 

The paper’s Viewpoints section, edited by Ken Trainor, took first place for opinion sections. The judges wrote: “A clear winner. There are a good variety of topics for each section and some pointed commentary. I liked how your ‘One View’ stories gave community leaders a chance to expand on topics they are involved with. Well done!”

Trainor also took the top spot for original column. Michael Romain, a former Journal colleague, took third place in column writing.

Senior Reporter Stacey Sheridan took first place in feature writing for her profile of former Oak Park village trustee Jim Taglia. Her obituary for Betty White took second place in that category. And Jessica Mackinnon’s obit for Barbara Ballinger, long-time head librarian in Oak Park, took third place.

The Journal took first place in news reporting series for coverage of charges of sexual harassment by a now former teacher at Fenwick. Those stories were reported by Amanda Tugade and Andy Viano. 

The Journal also won several top prizes in the advertising contest including for the Betty White Centennial section and the annual Eats guide.

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