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Bridge Michigan
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Bridge Michigan wins numerous awards from Society of Professional Journalists

group photo of Bridge Michigan and BridgeDetroit
The Bridge Michigan and BridgeDetroit teams were honored Monday at the annual Excellence in Journalism award ceremony hosted by the Detroit Chapter of SPJ. (Photo by Kalea Hall)
  • Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honors Bridge Michigan with 19 awards including 4 first place awards 
  • BridgeDetroit received four honors from SPJ, including a first-place award in community/local news 

Bridge Michigan received 19 awards Monday from the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) for its reporting in 2022. 

The honors included four first-place awards: 

  • Jonathan Oosting for a feature story on neo-Nazi extremists preparing for race wars 
  • Robin Erb for a report on on-demand primary care physicians 
  • Ron French for coverage of a fight at a west Michigan public library over LGBTQ and other books, and  
  • Isabel Lohman, who was part of a collaboration with Chalkbeat Detroit and The Detroit Free Press reporting on how Michigan schools are spending federal COVID relief funds.    

Our colleagues at BridgeDetroit received four awards at the ceremony, including a first-place award. 


The annual awards were presented at a ceremony that recognized nearly 300 professional and student journalists in southeast Michigan in broadcast, print and digital media. 

Winners were mostly chosen by a panel of veteran journalists from an outstate chapter of SPJ. 

The full list of Bridge Michigan awards: 

Collaborative Coverage — First place, Isabel Lohman (Bridge Michigan), Lily Altavena (Detroit Free Press), Koby Levin and Ethan Bakuli (Chalkbeat Detroit), ”The $6 billion question:Will COVID relief funds help Michigan Students recover.” 

  • Fourth place, Bridge Michigan (Kelly House), Circle of Blue, Michigan Radio, Great Lakes Now, Great Lakes News Collaborative, Bridge Michigan, “Water’s True Cost.” 

Community/Local News Reporting- First place, Ron French, “A Michigan community defunds its public library in fight over LGBTQ books.” 

Digital Media Presentation- Third Place Mike Wilkinson, “Coronavirus Dashboard.” 

Education Reporting- Third place, Isabel Lohman and Yue Stella Yu, “Culture wars divide Michigan Schools. How many rights should parents have?” 

Engagement-Driven Coverage- Third place, Paula Gardner and Mike Wilkinson, “Michigan Economic Dashboard.” 

Environmental Reporting- Second place, Ron French, “Wind wars: Wind turbines put green energy on the ballot in mid-Michigan.” 

Feature Reporting- First place, Jonathan Oosting, “Jesus Hitler, an ‘adrenaline junkie’ and the plot to train Michigan neo-Nazis group of men with nazi flag.” 

Second place, Eleanore Catolico, As youth mental health crisis rages, Michigan schools work to bolster students’ sense of connection

Health Reporting - First place, Robin Erb, “On-demand primary care doctors only served Michigan’s wealthy. Not anymore.” 

Newsletter Strategy - Third place, Jonathan Oosting, Lauren Gibbons and Yue Stella Yu,  Bridge Newsletter- Politics Watch.

Racial Justice Reporting- Third place, Ron French, “Michigan wine country again confronts race, and its own isolation.” 

House also was honored as part of a team from Detroit Public Television for its coverage of the cost of water.

Our reporting colleagues at BridgeDetroit received six awards at the ceremony, including: 

Racial Justice Reporting - Fourth place, Olivia Lewis, “Birth Detroit helps Black moms take control of their birthing experience.” 

Social Media Strategy -  First place, Jena Brooker, Bryce Huffman, Orlando Bailey and Malachi Barrett, Engaging Detroiters.


Community/Local News Reporting- First place, Daphne Hughes, Stephen Henderson, Catherine Kelly, Malachi Barrett and Bill Kubota, Detroit Public Television, “Detroit Home Repairs.” 

  • Third place, Daphne Hughes, Stephen Henderson, Bill Allesee, AJ Walker, Orlando Bailey, Detroit Public Television, “The Black Church in Detroit.

Collaborative coverage - second and third place for Nushrat Rahman for her work with the Detroit Free Press and Report for America on economic mobility.

Henderson was also part of Detroit Public Television teams honored for their coverage of Black churches' response to the COVID and Gospel music, the "American Black Journal" show and anniversary of the murder of Malice Green by Detroit police.

The Detroit chapter of SPJ named Christine MacDonald of The Detroit Free Press as 2022 Journalist of the Year. Dave LewAllen, recently retired anchor at WXYZ-TV 7 Action News, and Julie Topping, long-time copy editor at the Detroit Free Press, were given lifetime achievement awards. 

Briana Rice, a Detroit-based reporter at Michigan Radio, was named Young Journalist of the Year. And two student journalists, Arianna Heyman of Oakland University and Shawntay Lewis of Wayne State University received the  Lawrence A. Laurain Scholarship for their college journalism work.

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