The Emory Wheel garnered six awards Feb. 16 in the Georgia Press Association’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest.
News Editors Alex Klugerman (20B) and Richard Chess (20C) won first place for the “Best News Article Based on Investigative Reporting” category in Group I for coverage of last spring’s Migos booking scam prior to the 2017 Dooley’s Week headlining concert in the breaking news story “Fraudulent Agency Scams SPC.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) and WABE picked up the Wheel’s reporting.
The Wheel also broke the news last summer that the University had lost $37,500 in the scam. The Wheel covered most recently the federal charges against one of the individuals behind the fraudulent third-party booking agency in the breaking news story “Fake Migos Concert Booker Faces Federal Fraud Charges.” Group I is for freshman and sophomore entries.
The Wheel also clinched the 2018 Watchdog of the Year award for its extensive coverage of the Migos scam story. Twenty-four student journalists from other Georgia collegiate papers voted to grant the Wheel the award.
Judges praised Klugerman and Chess for their “relentless reporting and great commitment” and said that the story “exposed ineptitude across the board” and that “related articles [showed] impact and policy changes as a result of [their] reporting.”
Editor-in-Chief Julia Munslow (18C) and Executive Editor Michelle Lou (19C) earned first place in the “Best News Article Based on Investigative Reporting” category in Group II for their coverage of SGA elections in the story “SGA VP Candidate Lifts Verbatim Portions of Singh’s 2016 Platform.”
The Wheel’s reporting revealed that then-SGA executive vice presidential candidate Natasha Armstrong (18B) lifted verbatim about 42 percent, or 459 words, of her 2017 campaign platform from then-SGA presidential candidate and Armstrong’s running mate Gurbani Singh’s (18B) 2016 SGA executive vice presidential candidate platform. A student filed a complaint with the Elections Board to challenge Singh’s and Armstrong’s candidacies on the basis of a possible violation of the Honor Code and its prohibition of plagiarism in response to the article. Group II consists of junior and senior entries.
Judges commended the article for being “well-written and thoroughly researched for a story with a very short turnaround time.”
Editorial Board member Boris Niyonzima (20C) placed first in the “Best Column” category for Group I. In his op-ed “Wheel Lacks Black Student Voices: The Need for Diversity in the Newsroom,” Niyonzima called for greater diversity within the Wheel as well as national newsrooms.
“The Wheel needs to come up with creative solutions in advertising, outreach and retention to make their newsroom feel like a space where a diverse group of writers and reporters are welcome to be a voice for the voiceless,” Niyonzima wrote.
Judges applauded Niyonzima, noting that he did “by far the best job of taking a stand and blending personal experience and facts and background information to advocate for [his] position.”
The Editorial Board, which was founded in Spring 2017, won second place in the “Best Editorial or Editorial Series” category for Group I for its editorial “SGA Acts First, Thinks Second,” which criticized SGA for its lack of preparation following the SGA undergraduate-graduate split.
Judges commended the Editorial Board for its “strong editorial voice.”
Cartoonist Rose Kuan (21C) won third place in the “Best Entertainment Feature” category for Group I for cartoon “Doolino at the DUC-ling.”
UPDATE (2/23/18 at 12:30 a.m.): This article has been updated to reflect the comments that the Wheel received from the judges.
UPDATE (2/25/18 at 9:23 p.m.): This article has been updated to include a photo of some of the award winners.