2012 contest winners posted

Here’s the list of winners, announced at the Fall Conference on Thursday, Oct. 18, at NIU-DeKalb. Congrats to all, and special thanks to Maria Krull and Shelley Hendricks at the Northern Star for coordinating this year’s contest.


General membership meeting

As required by the NINA constitution, a general membership meeting has been called for Friday, Dec. 7, to vote on proposed changes to the NINA constitution and bylaws. The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Northern Star office, Campus Life Building, NIU-DeKalb. Anyone who works at a NINA member publication, or who is an individual member, is invited to attend (but attendance is not required for membership).

View the proposed changes HERE.

Board minutes, 10-18-12

NINA Board minutes

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012

NIU Convocation Center, NIU-DeKalb

Present: (13) Larry Lough, John Etheredge, John Puterbaugh, Lonny Cain, Jim Killam, Jim Slonoff, Sharon Boehlefeld, Kathy Gresey, Roger Ruthhart,

Jason Schaumburg, Penny

Wiegert, Jason Akst, Dirk Johnson.

Absent (5): Randy Swikle, Marc Colosimo, Jeff Wisser, Nick Swedberg, Wally Haas

Three board seats are open.

Schaumburg called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m.

Sept. 7 minutes were approved unanimously. (Ruthhart motion / Wiegert second)

Treasurer’s Report

Slonoff reported balances of $10,614.56 in checking and $5.94 in savings. A $1,000 check will be written tonight to the winner of the Excellence in Journalism contest.

Executive Secretary’s Report

Johnson said about 100 people are expected for the Fall Conference tonight. The NIU Communication Department has generously subsidized the event this year, which has allowed many faculty, high school and college students and high school advisers to attend.

President’s Report
Schaumburg said the eight-member task force met Sept. 28 and outlined three main areas of focus for NINA: training, education and networking. Future committee structure and board makeup will reflect these priorities. The task force also proposed some revisions to NINA’s constitution and bylaws, which will be discussed under New Business.


Committee Reports


Old Business

Mugs: Castle PrinTech of DeKalb has sponsored coffee mugs for all attendees tonight, Wiegert said.

New Business

The board unanimously agreed to propose the Task Force’s changes to the NINA constitution and bylaws to the general membership (Cain motion, Gresey second). This requires a vote during a general membership meeting, with at least 30 days notice. The general membership meeting will be held simultaneously with the next board meeting Dec. 7, and members will be invited.

Next meeting: 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at the Northern Star

Adjourn 5:50 p.m.

Southtown Star’s Matt Marton wins top prize

Matt Marton (right) chats w

ith Kane County Chronicle editor Kathy Gresey and State Rep. Bob Pritchard after Thursday’s NINA awards banquet at NIU.

Matt Marton, a photographer for the Southtown Star, has won NINA’s Excellence in Journalism Award and the accompanying $1,000 prize for his work on the series, “Haiti: Two Years Later.”

The award was presented Thursday night at NINA’s 50th Anniversary Fall Conference, at the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center. The Excellence in Journalism competition invited journalists to submit their best piece of work, published between May 1, 2011, and April 30, 2012.

Here are judges’ remarks about Marton’s work:

In February 2012, the Southtown Star send photographer Matt Marton and reporter Donna Vickroy to Haiti. “We wanted to find out where cargo containers full of shoes, bicycles, medical supplies and musical instruments, donated by our readers, ended up,” Marton wrote. “In following the trail of compassion, we hoped to form a bridge, built on communication and understanding, from here to Haiti.”

Marton’s stunning series of photos didn’t just follow that trail of compassion. It stirred it anew in readers. It’s difficult to imagine any reader being confronted with these photos and not feeling changed. This series – both the photos and the words – shines the light of truth and compassion on the people of Haiti, for the benefit of an audience who may have given money, time and/or prayer for them. It’s a sterling example of the type of journalism that newspapers still must find a way to produce – despite budget crunches and staff shortages.

Not insignificant is that this series comes from a newspaper whose newsroom has been gutted by layoffs in recent years. Yet, the Southtown Star saw an opportunity to connect local efforts to an international story that’s fallen from the public eye but is every bit as urgent as it was two years ago. The paper made a significant investment to send these two journalists to Haiti for five days. The journalists stepped into harm’s way at times, witnessed the horror of extreme poverty, and also chronicled hope for better days.

Vickroy’s heroic series of stories was a runner-up, and ordinarily could have won a competition like this. But in this case, judges felt that Marton’s Pulitzer-quality photos were so compelling that they merited singular attention.

Thank you to the Southtown Star for seeing the value and importance of this story. Congratulations to Matt Marton, and thank you for the reminder of why most of us became journalists – to tell stories like this, and to make a difference in the world.

See this series at the Southtown Star website

Matt Marton’s blog