2018 Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists Page One Awards

Minnesota SPJ Awards 2018

Minnesota SPJ Awards 2018Every year, the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists hosts an awards banquet honoring the best in Minnesota television, newspaper, magazine, and also radio journalism. In 2018, I received a first place award in the planned feature category for “Arnellia’s: Our Own Apollo,” about the closing of Minnesota’s last black-owned music club. I received a second place award for best radio feature for my portrait of Hmong chef Yia Vang. I reported and produced both of these stories for KFAI’s MinneCulture series. KFAI producers were recognized with six awards in multiple categories. I am proud to work with these talented people.You can listen to all of the KFAI-produced award-winning stories here.

(Photo from left to right: Producer Xan Holston, Producer Sophie Nikitas, Editor Todd Melby, Producer Erianna Jiles; Me)

Cedric Red Feather and the Ghost Dance

Cedric Red Feather

Cedric Red Feather

The Virginia-based public radio program With Good Reason assigned me to produce an audio postcard about a Native American spiritual ceremony called the Ghost Dance. Cedric Red Feather (pictured above) is a Mandan Turtle Priest based in Minnesota who organized this Ghost Dance ceremony I observed in May 2016. The segment I produced was part of a larger feature on historian Elizabeth Fenn whose book about the Mandan, Encounters at the End of the World, won a Pulitzer Prize for History in 2015. While researching the book, Fenn and Red Feather became friends. Fenn credits Red Feather with helping her to appreciate the significance of Mandan spiritual life.

In the interview with host Sarah McConnell, Fenn, who describes herself as being “spiritually challenged” says: “I recognized that it would be sheer hubris to write about a people without acknowledging the way they experience the world, even if I can’t appreciate it fully…just a respect requires me to engage with their spiritual lives and Cedric was instrumental in helping me do that.”

You can listen to the full interview with Fenn here.

Hooked on Ice Fishing

Walter Humphrey (pictured below right) and Jerrel Matthews (pictured above) are two friends who love nothing more than to fish from dawn until dusk. I spent 10 hours with the duo on Medicine Lake just outside of Minneapolis to discover the hidden world of urban ice fishing. I reported this story for KFAI community radio in Minneapolis. (Photos by Nancy Rosenbaum).

Jerrel Matthews and Walter Humphrey Ice Fishing