SPJ Detroit announces winners at the 2019 Excellence in Journalism Awards

SPJ Detroit announces Laurain Scholarship winner

The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced that Madison O’Connor from Michigan State University has been awarded the Laurain Scholarship for 2019. The Board of Directors also awarded additional scholarships to Anna Nichols from Michigan State University and Sloane Terranella from Wayne State University.

Madison O’Connor is a junior pursuing degrees in journalism and user experience at Michigan State. She has interned at the Lansing State Journal and with MLive at The Grand Rapids Press. O’Connor has worked at MSU’s independent student newspaper, The State News, for six semesters as the campus news editor and the lead reporter on MSU’s administration and the Larry Nassar cases, but currently as a multimedia reporter. This summer, she’ll intern at The Naples Daily News in Florida. With a growing interest in design and innovative storytelling, she’s taking classes in virtual design, web design and UX design. O’Connor would like to thank her family and friends for their continued support throughout her college career.

Anna Nichols is the cops and courts reporter at The State News at Michigan State University, where she covers the many tendrils of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. This summer, she will intern at The Saginaw News. Nichols will graduate in May 2020 with a degree in public affairs journalism and environmental studies and sustainability. She is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE).

Sloane Terranella is a first-generation college student and aspiring journalist. She is a sophomore at Wayne State and pursuing a degree in journalism. Terranella works at The South End, Wayne State’s newspaper, as the news editor. She is a writer and proud member of the Asian American Journalists Association.

Main photo courtesy Ashley McCuen


Tickets are on sale now for the SPJ Detroit Excellence in Journalism Awards. It’s happening on Thursday, May 2 at the San Marino Club in Troy. Tickets are $60 for SPJ members with advance registration, $100 for an SPJ member and a guest, $500 for a table of 10, $20 for student SPJ members, $35 for students and $70 at the door. Buy the tickets below.

SPJ Detroit condemns censorship by Dearborn mayor and firing ofJournalism Hall of Fame reporter, Bill McGraw.

Congratulations to our SPJ Award winners! The banquet was held on April 18 at 6 p.m. The list of winners is below

2017 SPJ Detroit Banquet

Note: If you want to pay using a credit card instead of through your PayPal, select a ticket option. The Buy Now button will take you to another page where you can opt to purchase with a credit or debit card. Make sure that card is not connected to a PayPal account. 


UPCOMING EVENT: 8th Annual Show the Love Benefit

Photos from the 2016 SPJ Detroit banquet

(Photo Credit:  Eileen Harned) 

SPJ-Lorain Scholarship winners



SPJ Detroit Celebrates Local Journalists

Congratulations to all of our honorees! 

Photo credit:  Eileen Harned

Below - Longtime Detroit columnists Laura Berman, The Detroit News, and Tom Walsh, Detroit Free Press, were honored at the annual banquet with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Above-- Ron Fonger of The Flint Journal named Journalist of the Year and Michael Martinez of The Detroit  News named Young Journalist of the Year Tuesday night by the Detroit Chapter, Society of  Professional Journalists.

Improving and protecting journalism since 1909

SPJ Detroit Names Finalists for Journalist of the Year Honors

DETROIT – The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists today announced finalists for Journalist of the Year honors to be awarded at its annual banquet Tuesday, April 12, at the San Marino Club on Big Beaver Road in Troy.

Finalists for SPJ Detroit’s Journalist of the Year include Ron Fonger, The Flint Journal; Nancy Kaffer, Detroit Free Press; Keith Naughton, Bloomberg News; and Lindsey Smith, Michigan Radio. Young Journalist of the Year finalists are Michael Martinez, The Detroit News, and Jessica Strachan, The News-Herald.

All finalists were selected by a jury of veteran journalists and educators from several news media outlets outside of Metro Detroit.

“This banquet is a celebration of the great journalism that has been produced by Detroit area journalists and news organizations,” said Walter Middlebrook, chapter president and an assistant managing editor of The Detroit News. “We use this opportunity to remind our colleagues of the goals and objectives of SPJ, as we also honor the folks who have been the stalwarts and the future of our industry.”

Longtime Detroit columnists Tom Walsh, Detroit Free Press, and Laura Berman, The Detroit News, also will be honored at the annual banquet with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Walsh and Berman, both of whom retired late last year, had wide followings. Walsh’s business column ranged from interviews with CEOs to stories about small businesses. Berman’s work focused on social issues, with special attention to women and children. She is pursuing a book project.

SPJ Detroit also will present hundreds of Excellence in Journalism awards at the banquet for the best work of metro area journalists during 2015.

Upcoming events:

SPJ Banquet: April 12



Find out about our organization and mission

Learn More →