Austin Weekly News’ columnists swept the opinion writing category for mid-sized publications in the state at this year’s Illinois Press Association Awards on June 10, taking place in Springfield. AWN won the trifecta in Original Columns, taking all three prizes. Arlene Jones, Terry Dean and China Hill finished first, second and third respectively. Freelance reporter Finisha O’Quinn won second place in Business/Economic Reporting for a feature on MacArthur’s Restaurant. The paper’s special issue from July 2010, “Men Making a Difference,” which celebrated good men doing good things in the community, took the top prize in the Special Section category. Austin Weekly News’ sister publications and colleagues – Wednesday Journal, Forest Park Review, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark and Chicago Journal/Skyline – also won multiple awards, including several first place honors.

AWN also received two honorable mentions for:

  • Community Service: For our spring 2010 Census awareness campaign
  • Single Story News Reporting: For our investigation of an alleged funeral scammer in Austin