Three-peat! Bridge Magazine earns Michigan Newspaper of the Year three years running

Michigan Press Association Newspaper of the Year

Bridge Magazine was honored for dozens of articles in 2017 on public policy issues in Michigan

Bridge Magazine won “Newspaper of the Year” honors for the third straight year and also received 30 awards in the Michigan Press Association statewide journalism competition.

“Bridge is so pleased to accept this honor,” said editor David Zeman. “We continue to expand our ambitions and we couldn’t be more proud of the wonderful journalists on our growing and talented team.”

Related: Bridge staffers win 23 awards from Society of Professional Journalists
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Launched in 2011 by The Center for Michigan, Bridge Magazine is a nonprofit news publication focused on providing nonpartisan public policy coverage in an era of widespread cutbacks in traditional news media. It is supported by more than two dozen foundations and corporate funders, as well as donations from thousands of readers.

In awards open to all Michigan publications, regardless of circulation or audience size, for coverage of through parts of 2016 and 2017,  Bridge earned the following Thursday at an MPA conference, held in East Lansing:

Public Service – 2nd Place: To Mike Wilkinson and Chastity Pratt-Dawsey for a series on school segregation.

Best Writing – 2nd Place: To Joel Kurth for “He became famous defending ‘Algiers Motel’ cops. Deal with it.”

Best Headline – 1st Place: To David Zeman for “We hope you enjoyed your stay at the county jail. Here’s your bill.”

Best Multimedia – 3rd Place: To Al Lilly for “Message in a bottle: A Flint video story.”

Best Writing – Honorable Mention: To Bridge freelancer Laura Berman for “An unwanted touch, two lives in freefall.”

In the large weekly newspaper competition, Bridge swept every reporting category entered.

News Enterprise Reporting: 1st place to Mike Wilkinson for “Welfare misspending investigation”; 2nd place to Mike Wilkinson and Chastity Pratt-Dawsey for “School segregation investigation”; 3rd place to Chastity Pratt-Dawsey for “Flint Legionnaires investigation”;  And honorable mention to Ted Roelofs for “Broken: The human toll of Michigan’s unemployment fraud saga.”

Government/Education News: 1st place to Ron French for “Michigan’s College Dropout Dilemma”; 2nd place to Joel Kurth and Mike Wilkinson for “Detroit water shutoffs”; 3rd place to Ted Roelofs for “Gerrymandering in Michigan”; and  honorable mention to Bridge freelancer Kurt Kuban for “Two years later, Detroit storm victims still waiting for help.”

Business/Agriculture News: 1st place to Mike Wilkinson for “Michigan and the death of entrepreneurship”; 2nd place to Lindsay VanHulle for “Can a Chilean company revive Grayling?”; 3rd place to Lindsay VanHulle and Ted Roelofs for “Is business losing clout in Lansing?”; And honorable mention to Bridge freelancer Chad Selweski for “100 workers recalled. They all flunked a drug test.”

Spot News Reporting: 1st place to Chastity Pratt-Dawsey for “One envelope holds her fate. Is she getting deported today?”;  2nd place to Ron French for “Kalkaska dueling protests”;  3rd place to Bridge staff for “Legionnaire’s outbreak leads to manslaughter charges”;  And honorable mention to Mike Wilkinson, Ron French and Nancy Derringer for “Election coverage.”

Feature Writing: 1st place to Ron French for “A conservative and two liberals swapped news feeds. It didn’t end well”; 2nd place to Joel Kurth for “He became famous defending ‘Algiers Motel’ cops. Deal with it”;  3rd place to Bill McGraw for “He started the Detroit riot. His son wrestles with the carnage”; and honorable mention to Laura Berman for “An unwanted touch, two lives in freefall.”

Column Writing: 1st place to Danielle McGuire for “Detroit police killed their sons at the Algiers Hotel. No one ever said sorry”;  and 2nd place to Phil Power for a variety of incisive columns about public affairs.

Photo Story: 1st place to Brian Widdis and John Russell for “Fireworks, parades and a partisan divide that won’t go away”; 2nd place to Brian Widdis, John Russell, and Pat Shellenbarger for “Trump inauguration in a divided Michigan.”

Feature Photo: 2nd place to Brian Widdis for “Amid strikes and spares, Muslim worries that the game has changed.”


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Fri, 05/11/2018 - 2:59pm

Well done, the writing is so much better than at other papers in Michigan.

Gary Bender
Sun, 05/13/2018 - 9:05am

Great job! Fabulous writing. Thanks for keeping Bridge going. G

Martin Friedburg
Sun, 05/13/2018 - 8:47am

Congraulations Bridge! Your many insightful articles show true dedication to honest reporting.

Sun, 05/13/2018 - 9:27pm

Congrats, Guys! Well deserved!!

Betsy Riley
Tue, 05/15/2018 - 8:48pm

Thrilled to see this! I (and all the other readers) know that Bridge is great--so awesome to see you all getting the recognition you deserve!