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Bridge reporters win Journalist of the Year award for 4th year in a row

Jonathan Oosting and Mike Wilkinson
Jonathan Oosting and Mike Wilkinson were named Michigan’s Journalists of the Year by the Michigan Press Association.
  • Jonathan Oosting and Mike Wilkinson were named the state’s Journalists of the Year
  • It’s the fourth year in a row Bridge reporters have won the top honor
  • Bridge Michigan won 14 other awards from the Michigan Press Association and BridgeDetroit earned eight.

Bridge Michigan reporters Jonathan Oosting and Mike Wilkinson have been named Journalists of the Year by the Michigan Press Association.

It is the fourth year in a row that Bridge journalists have been named the state’s Journalists of the Year.

The two earned the honor Thursday at an awards ceremony that also saw Bridge Michigan win 14 other honors. Bridge’s sister publication, BridgeDetroit, earned eight awards in the statewide contest honoring the best in Michigan journalism.


Oosting and Wilkinson’s reporting revealed problems in Michigan’s grant-making process, which has little oversight and allows lawmakers each year to dole out $1 billion in pet projects. One such project was $25 million for a health campus in mid-Michigan. Pushed by former House Speaker Jason Wentworth, the grant went to a nonprofit started by a former aide and involved the sale of land to his successor in the Legislature. The project manager for the development served time in prison for fraud.

The pair also uncovered problems in Michigan State University’s safety practices in the wake of a mass shooting on campus.

 “Neither investigation was easy to produce, relying heavily on documents and sources and revealing truths that are messy and uncomfortable for those in power,” said Bridge Michigan Executive Editor Joel Kurth. “But through diligence, precision and tenacity, Jonathan and Mike produced a body of work that did a true public service to both a grieving campus and Michigan taxpayers.”

Oosting has been at Bridge since 2019 and was the MPA's Journalist of the Year for 2021 for his coverage about the presidential election and extremism. A reporter since 2007, he’s covered the Capitol and politics for more than a decade, including stints at The Detroit News and MLive.

Wilkinson has been at Bridge since 2013 and was MPA's Journalist of the Year for 2020 for his coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, school finances and the collapse of mid-Michigan dams. A computer-assisted reporter, he has also worked as a journalist in Detroit, Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois.

 “Strong watchdog report detailing self-dealing, cronyism and poor government oversight of a $25 million healthcare facility planned in Clare County … raising issues and asking questions about the project prompted the state to halt the project,” wrote contest judge Mickey Hirten. “The reporting illustrated finger pointing and professed ignorance of the award, land sales and assorted businesses feeding on the contract.”

Bridge competes in the statewide news media division and won the following awards:

BridgeDetroit competed in the local news media division and won the following:

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